Although his passion has always been in documenting important New York players worthy of wider recognition, producer Gerry Teekens has occasionally turned the spotlight on worthy talent from his Dutch homeland as well. Along with guitarist Jesse van Ruller, the most visible Dutch artist on the label recently has been pianist Peter Beets. His three previous sessions for Criss Cross have found him working in a trio format and including many of his own substantial compositions. His new work, the aptly titled New Groove
, goes for something quite different by utilizing a program built on standards and by featuring a drummer less trio of piano, bass and guitar.
The opening strains of "You're My Everything" suggest similar classic trios from the past, such as those of Nat Cole and Oscar Peterson. The swing is infectious and there's clarity of sound and approach that is a hallmark of Peter's playing throughout. The pianist also looks at these familiar chestnuts with new eyes, making for a fresh slant. This is most evident on a number like "They Say It's Wonderful," most commonly associated with the classic ballad approach of Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane. Beets and crew take it at a medium gate with the guitar strumming a relaxed four beats to the bar in perfect Freddie Green fashion.
Beets utilizes two rhythm sections for the album, one comprised of fellow Dutchmen and the other including New York stalwarts Joe Cohn on guitar and Reuben Rogers on bass. Both trios have a lot to offer and Beets graciously shares the solo space. Cohn even gets to voice the lead on "Three Little Words" and shares similar duties with Beets on the iconic "Tricotism." A refreshing change of pace and revitalization of a trio format rarely used these days, Beets offers a "new groove" that is well worth giving a listen to.
Personnel: Peter Beets: piano; Joe Cohn: guitar; Reuben Rogers: bass; Martijn Van Iterson: guitar; Ruud Jacobs: bass.