Tuesday, March 20, 2012

CDs of Note - Short Takes [updated]

A look at new CDs from Lynne Arriale, Jeff Hamilton and Jonny King....

Jeff Hamilton Trio, Red Sparkle (Capri) Drummer Jeff Hamilton’s session with pianist Tamir Hendelman and bassist Christoph Luty, is one not to be missed for anyone who savors the art of the piano trio. The playing is sure, the sound is exceptional and the vibe they share is wonderful. That’s the case whether the material is American Songbook standards, jazz classics, new standards or originals. Favorites here are three originals – Hamilton’s “Ain’t That a Peach,” Hamilton and Hendelman’s “Hat’s Dance” and Luty’s “In An Ellingtone.” I also dug their cover of Stephen Bishop’s “On and On” and Hamilton mentor Ray Brown’s “I Know You Oh So Well.”

Lynne Arriale, Solo (Motéma)
For her past nine recordings and more than 15 years of performing, pianist Lynne Arriale made beautiful, stirring music in the trio and quartet formats. Now she’s out with an aptly titled treat. Solo is just what it sounds like: Arriale alone with her imagination and grand piano. It is not a huge departure in sound; she just has no rhythmic cushion or collaborative ideas to share with bandmates. There is much to love here – whether she’s digging into standards or a half-dozen originals. “Arise” was the stunning title track on her Motéma debut in 2003. A decade later, it is even more personal and uplifting as a solo piece.

Jonny King, Above All (Sunnyside)
Welcome back. Ivy League-educated pianist Johnny King was busy on the jazz scene in the 1980s and 1990s both as a solid performer and, author of What Jazz Is, an excellent guide to the music form. Then in 2000, he began an extended sabbatical to concentrate on practicing law. This Sunnyside debut, his fourth recording as a leader, is most welcome. The pianist is joined by two of his favorite collaborators - bassist Ed Howard and drummer Victor Lewis. The title track is an introspective and haunting ballad that he wrote in tribute after his father died in 2009. “Spindrift” is an uptempo burner. “Neither Here Nor There,” written for the late Tony Reedus,” swings mightily. “Catharsis” and “The Silver Lining” are also gems. There is much to dig here. This is a March 27 release.

No comments:

Post a Comment