Cyrus Chestnut is a mainstreamer, his straightahead sound owing a good deal to gospel and the blues as main building blocks and you find all the ingredients of his sound here. Swing is to the heart of it all and to the fore straight off. I'm thinking in my head from yesteryear John Hicks and Oscar Peterson as simpatico to the Chestnut sound. And if you dig Ronnie Scott's musical director pianist James Pearson you will also get what Chestnut does if so far unfamiliar with this fantastic instrumentalist. Bassist Peter Washington, a straightahead legend of the music (like his generation's very own Ron Carter and brilliant last year with Bill Charlap), is on most of the tracks and the fine drummer Lewis Nash likewise.
The classic 'Cubano Chant' introduced to jazz by its writer Ray Bryant on a 1956 recording (and followed up the same year by Cal Tjader) really exposes us to the touch of Nash. And that is just one superb highlight of a record that is all about supreme musicianship, refinement and the art of the trio. It isn't going to change the world but will warm your soul whether on the Paul McCartney classic 'Yesterday' or the melting balm of Jimmy Van Heusen's 'But Beautiful.' What a tender tribute to Cyrus' dad McDonald Chestnut from his son - My Father's Hands so very winningly is. SG
Out on 15 July