How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Pianist Matthias Bublath works at the crossroads where consistency and diversity meet; the consistency comes with his sound, vision and personnel choices while the diversity connects to the type(s) of music he presents.
For Oceans, the German-born, New York-based pianist reconvened the same quintet that birthed his prior album, the highly enjoyable Harvest On The Moon (Self Produced, 2011). Here, the group makes its way through a mixture of music that's alternately funky ("Pocket"), peppy ("Flood") and dreamy ("Wasserburg"). No single style dominates the proceedings, but virtually everything can be traced back to the same piano-playing, songwriting source at the helm of the ship. One minute, Bublath is looking toward Brazil, delivering some lively pseudo-choro music ("Hectivity"), but the next minute he's playing it smooth and groovy ("Sweet Melody"). This is but one example of his open embrace on diversity; the two covers on the albuma relatively calm but budding take on Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" and an attractive performance of Paquito D'Rivera
Bublath's most interesting original material tends to shift gears in unexpected ways, as on the album-opening, odd-metered "Ocean Sunfish," which takes mid-song turns toward Cuba and, later, New Orleans; the energetic "Let's Fetz," which features some killer trumpet work from Takuya Kuroda