The Joshua Breakstone Trio: No One New (2009)
No One New is a reference to guitarist Joshua Breakstone's long career. Over the last 30 years he has etched an impressive record as a leader with 19 recordings to his credit. It is easy to see why he has been around for so long; his music rises above the mundane with a compact sense for the lyrical that draws out the aura of a composition. His writing is facile and melodic, and opens the door to his technique. He plays with a clean, articulate style that emphasizes rounded notes, neat forward phrases and succulent chords. More, he lets the music breathe through his judicious use of space.
Breakstone has used a trio setting on other recordings. It adds to the intimacy, particularly when he has empathic cohorts in bassist Lisle Atkinson and drummer Eliot Zigmund. The music is straight-ahead jazz, manifested in several streams that flow into bop, swing, ballads and the blues. Breakstone contributes five compositions, Atkinson pitches in one, with two standards rounding out the program.
Breakstone has a way of flattening a note and then plucking it. He rides this into high gear on "Over-Done" before exhibiting the depths of his armory with single note runs, chords that enhance the harmonic depth, and changes in tension as he swings along with Atkinson and Zigmund. He shows a sense of humor investing a verse of "Mary Had A Little Lamb" along the way.
"No One New" is a hard bop tune, with Breakstone extolling the melody, and letting his improvisations find their grain. Zigmund and Atkinson are strands in the weave, as the drummer engages in two fertile and vivid conversations with Breakstone.
Atkinson compose the scintillating "Come On Baby," where melody and swing clasp each other through juicy guitar notes. The bassist adds his own dollop of sweetness to this top-class tune, and Zigmund expands the equation with his crisp pulse.
Breakstone closes this delightfully delectable CD with two standards that stand in contrast. "The Peacocks" is reflective, basking in the single notes that Breakstone let fall with grace. "The Kicker" gets the blues wallowing in modulated swing as Breakstone turns on the charm marrying linear devolution and chunky chords.
Track Listing: Over-Done; For Me; The Unknown One; Come On, Baby; Blues Heretofore; No One New; The Peacocks; The Kicker.
Personnel: Joshua Breakstone: guitar; Lisle Atkinson: bass; Eliot Zigmund: drums.