Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Kevin Hays, Ben Street, Billy Hart, Bridges, Smoke Sessions ****

As satisfying a piano trio album as we have come across in months and months, pianist Kevin Hays, bassist Ben Street and NEA Jazz Master drummer Billy Hart have come up smelling of roses once again. The album has original compositions by Hays and …

Published: 20 Oct 2023. Updated: 7 months.

As satisfying a piano trio album as we have come across in months and months, pianist Kevin Hays, bassist Ben Street and NEA Jazz Master drummer Billy Hart have come up smelling of roses once again. The album has original compositions by Hays and Hart that suit the canon very well plus classics by Wayne Shorter, Bill Frisell, The Beatles, and Milton Nascimento. We were reminded a little of Ethan Iverson's Live at the Village Vanguard album from a few years ago as the style of the album here suits that particular seam of contemporary American piano jazz. This trio first got together for All Things Are and here recording at Sear Sound in New York continue the story. On 'Butterfly' Hays who plays marvellously throughout this fine record has also composed lyrics for the piece but here in its instrumental version its song-like qualities are never in doubt. Out today.

l-r: Kevin Hays, Ben Street, Billy Hart, photo from the cover art

Tags: Reviews

Helge Lien Trio and Tore Brunborg, Funeral Dance, Ozella ****

Dipping into 'Adam' at the beginning of Funeral Dance the latest from the remarkable Helge Lien Trio you feel you are late in arriving because already the rich tone of Tore Brunborg - a little like the way Andy Sheppard can play - has established …

Published: 19 Oct 2023. Updated: 7 months.

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Dipping into 'Adam' at the beginning of Funeral Dance the latest from the remarkable Helge Lien Trio you feel you are late in arriving because already the rich tone of Tore Brunborg - a little like the way Andy Sheppard can play - has established an extraordinary atmosphere that the trio then work their magic with when he drops out. Bassist Johannes Eick and drummer Knut Aalefjær again join their fellow Norwegian pianist Helge Lien in what is certainly one of the top European jazz releases of the year. You gain a lot of weight practically anywhere you listen from a band who while deeply serious in approach never alienate the listener. Eick's riff on 'A Wonderful Selection of Gloomy Keys' (great title - and not really that gloomy at all) is one of the many pleasures here shaped and contoured so evocatively by Lien especially on his lustrous opening to 'The Silver Pine'.