COUNTING BEATS

Reviews and Recommended Jazz by Nick Bewsey

Tag: Jazz Trio

ART HIRAHARA, LIBATIONS & MEDITATIONS

As interesting and involving as pianist Art Hirahara’s debut recording, Noble Path (Posi-tone, 2011) was, his sophomore release gives him the chance to expand his creative palette. The intriguingly titled Libations and Meditations pairs Hirahara with superior musicians, the much in-demand bassist Linda Oh and furiously creative drummer John Davis. As a unit, they open up the leader’s compositions to their fullest, improvising together with a capacious degree of ingenuity. Continue reading

THE FRED HERSCH TRIO, FLOATING

A TOP JAZZ RECORD OF 2014. Floating marks a triumphant return to the studio for pianist Fred Hersch and his trio, and the album’s title is a perfect expression for the record’s feeling and his interaction with bassist John Hebert and drummer Eric McPherson. The format is a good one — Hersch programs the date to mirror his typical set list in a club setting and it’s one that grabs you at the outset with a bewitching “You And The Night and The Music,” an arrangement that skips along to a percussive beat, and closes with a Monk tune (“Let’s Cool One”), both tracks a primer for appreciating what Hersch refers to as “intelligent melody.” Continue reading

LARRY GOLDINGS, PETER BERNSTEIN, BILL STEWART, RAMSHACKLE SERENADE

Ramshackle Serenade is a great album title for this splendid trio, the supplest and sharpest tuned organ-guitar-drum trio making music today. Their endurance as a unit – they’ve been recording together for many years and share more than a dozen recordings — has never been more pronounced or sophisticated. “Roach,” a soulful original by Goldings has a late night luster, all deep grooves and peppered with Stewart’s dazzling beats. Bernstein’s full, rounded notes romance the melody of Jobim’s classic “Luiza” and lifts his superb original “Simple As That” to joyful heights. Continue reading

HAROLD MABERN, RIGHT ON TIME

Pianist Harold Mabern’s Right On Time is an exuberant trio disc recorded live at Smoke Jazz and Supper Club on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, one of four exceptional debut releases from the club’s new label documenting their live shows. The initial offerings include albums by saxophonists Vincent Herring (The Uptown Shuffle), Javon Jackson (Expression) and pianist David Hazeltine (For All We Know), each of which capture that quintessential New York jazz club experience. Smoke owners and producers Frank Christopher and Paul Stache couldn’t have picked a finer talent than Harold Mabern to include in the launch of their venture. Continue reading

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