How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
I think Mingus would have liked the opener on The Benny Lackner Trio. Lackner and colleagues take on his classic "Moanin'" with a fuzzy bass groove and quirky pots and pans (literally) serving as percussion.
Keyboardist Benny Lackner burst onto the scene on one of last year's finest recordings, vocalist Hillary Maroon's Migratory, which offered a blend of M-Based rhythms and avant-jazz with the occasional rock/pop sensibilites. With a follow-up to that near classic CD in the works, Lackner steps out on this instrumental set.
Lackner has a real talent for clean, classic-sounding melodies, and his mix of accoustic and electric texturesFender rhodes, nordelectro, nordlead2keeps the sound interesting from start to finish. He includes two classics, the aforementioned "Moanin" and the Great American Songbook gem "Cherokee," that slip in nicely with his five originals. His "Will It Matter?", an accoustic ballad, has a simple and straightforward melody that conveys a sense of weary melancholy which edges into anguish before regathering itself. The electric and edgy "Umlaut" builds on a captivating stop/start rhythm; "Monday Morning" conveys a electro/caffeinated feel.
The closer, "Bushisms," frames another lovely Lackner melody, delicately rendered and tinged with sadnessa saving-the-best-for-last affair.