Notes from New York
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The Bill Charlap Trio conjures a groove. Each tune layered with the best history of jazz. These aren’t just “notes.” Notes from New York” is a compendium. Charlap’s time is perfect, whether he’s swinging or dancing on the keys with aplomb and grace.
As a unit, this must be one of the best piano trios ever (alongside Kenny Barron & Brad Mehldau trios latest albums) and certainly as instantly recognizable as any of its great predecessors. Charlap’s touch on the keyboard is light, almost stealthy, even when playing full chords, but always firm, clear and beautifully articulated. With the spirited support of bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington, famously unrelated by the way, the total effect is just perfect.
Bill provides the listener with plenty of space to admire the songs he's chosen and what he's doing with them. Playing gentle is no easy. There's enormous complexity required by those artists who compel audiences to lean forward.
Ahmad Jamal and his trio did this brilliantly in the 1950s. Same goes for trios led by George Shearing, Red Garland and Bill Evans. Allowing glorious songs to breathe requires the artist to stir up musical drama through storytelling, beauty and poise. Restraint and a keen understanding of poetry are key to reach such mastery of playing.
You can find all these qualities here which, of course, has made this album a favorite of the whole Jazz Messengers crew right away. It’s going to sound on speakers for quite a while!!
BILL CHARLAP. piano
PETER WASHINGTON, bass
KENNY WASHINGTON, drums
Avatar Studios, New York, June 1st & 2nd, 2015.
01. I'll Remember April
02. Make Me Rainbows
03. Not A Care In The World
04. There Is No Music
05. A Sleepin' Bee
06. Little Rascal On A Rock
07. Too Late Now
08. Tiny's Tempo
09. On The Sunny Side Of The Street