249

Aisha HR NYC Trio: A-Symmetry

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Aisha HR NYC Trio: A-Symmetry Still barely known outside her native Italy, Aisha HR's debut album announces the arrival an arresting young pianist in the Bill Evans/Herbie Hancock lineage. One of the finalists in an Italian piano competition presided over by Enrico Pieranunzi, HR (formerly Ruggieri) came to jazz following extensive classical training in Amsterdam, Rome and Venice.

In the US, where she now spends some of her time, HR is something of a mentoree of New York-based pianist David Hazeltine, who produced A-Symmetry and who, presumably, suggested his own regular colleagues Paul Gill (bass) and Joe Strasser (drums) as accompanists. If so, Hazeltine got it right. Far from being fazed, HR seems entirely at ease in the company of the two more seasoned NY musicians, who give top-dollar, swinging support to her lyrical and vivacious playing.

Most of the tunes are covers, and HR breathes freshness and youth into each of them. She gives criminally pretty readings of Ellington and Strayhorn's "The Star Crossed Lovers" and Earth Wind & Fire's "You Can't Hide Love," and lends clever new harmonic progressions to the familiar warhorses "The Nearness Of You" and "Round Midnight." (A second Monk tune, "Ask Me Now," she leaves closer to the composer's changes.)

There are two originals: "Alejandra Smooth Blues," which is velvety rather than yuck-smooth, and the more complex and ambitious closer, "Waltzin' In Vernon Boulevard," at over seven minutes the longest track. Shifting time signatures and muscular, two-handed block chord passages suggest the influence of McCoy Tyner (whose own "Aisha," of course, opens the album).

Although she has clearly absorbed the work of older masters, HR is her own woman. A-Symmetry is an unusually compelling debut album, and HR is a name—or two capital letters, anyway—to look out for.


Track Listing: Aisha; Alejandra Smooth Blues; The Star Crossed Lovers; The Nearness of You; You Can't Hide Love; Ask me Now/Round Midnight; Waltzin' In Vernon Boulevard.

Personnel: Aisha HR: piano; Paul Gill: bass; Joe Strasser: drums.

Title: A-Symmetry | Year Released: 2006


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Meeting My Shadow CD/LP/Track Review Meeting My Shadow
by James Nadal
Published: July 22, 2017
Read No Secrets No Lies CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read 50 CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "The Broader Picture" CD/LP/Track Review The Broader Picture
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Beninghove's Hangmen Plays Led Zeppelin" CD/LP/Track Review Beninghove's Hangmen Plays Led Zeppelin
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 23, 2017
Read "Heaven" CD/LP/Track Review Heaven
by Fiona Ord-Shrimpton
Published: July 3, 2017
Read "Hudson" CD/LP/Track Review Hudson
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 18, 2017
Read "E.S.T. Symphony" CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture" CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!