Home » Jazz Articles » Yaron Herman Trio: A Time for Everything

310
Album Review

Yaron Herman Trio: A Time for Everything

By

Sign in to view read count
Yaron Herman Trio: A Time for Everything
Sometimes the power of a back story can eclipse the music it supports. For Israeli-born pianist Yaron Herman it's a close call, but A Time for Everything is such a refreshing and multifaceted album that a little background is necessary.



Herman, still in his mid-twenties, began playing piano at sixteen, a shift in focus resulting from an unexpected basketball accident that put an end to his sporting aspirations. The sports world's loss became the music world's gain when, after only two years of an unorthodox multi-disciplinary teaching method, Herman left to study at the Berklee College of Music. Dissatisfied, Herman left after two months, with a return trip stop-over in Paris turning into an extended stay as Herman quickly established himself as the up-and-coming pianist on the Parisian jazz scene.



A Time for Everything is Herman's third release as a leader and his first in a trio setting, but he already possesses not just a mature voice, but one that marries a firm grasp of the tradition (his effortlessly swinging "Stompin," with its touch of stride, and the equally swinging blues, "Monkey in Paradise") with a youthful mindset that will appeal to both traditionalists and those with a more modernistic bent. Any album with a song list ranging from Scriabine to Sting, Leonard Cohen to Björk, and the Great American Songbook to—yes, you read that right—Britney Spears, is an album that is, at the very least, worth some attention.



That Herman—alongside bassist Matt Brewer and ubiquitous drummer Gerald Cleaver—can find merit in Spears' simple pop confection ("Toxic") only means that he hears potential in just about anything. But unlike other bands that deconstruct popular contemporary songs, there's no sign of shtick or artifice to be found. "Message in a Bottle" begins with the sound of someone searching through a radio dial and ultimately finding a fiery intro that only gradually reveals the familiar arpeggios that define this staple from The Police. Cleaver grooves more definitively than The Police's Stewart Copeland ever did, while Herman marries reverence with liberal reharmonization.



Herman is undeniably informed by many of the usual suspects, ranging from Jarrett to Mehldau. But his ability to run the gamut from assertive and edgy playing on Björk's "Army of Me," to European neoclassicism on the fiery rubato original, "MMM," spare, dark-hued elegance on "Nishima" and an understated solo look at Leonard Cohen's enduring "Hallelujah"—leading to a sublime coda where Herman's playing is enhanced by his trio's subtle colorations—demonstrates a player whose distinctive voice is already well-formed.



Occasional sound designs by Jean Pierre Taïeb broaden the textural scope without intruding on the trio's clear simpatico. From a dramatic yet poignant take on "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning" to "Layla Layla," which references Herman's cultural roots, A Time for Everything is a success from start to finish. Reinforcing Herman's reputation, and deserving to further raise the profile of this rapidly emerging and remarkable talent, everything is, indeed, possible.

Track Listing

Army of Me; Stompin; Layla Layla; Interlude; Toxic; Neshima; Paluszki; Prelude No. 2 in B Flat Major, Opus 35; Message in a Bottle; MMM, Monkey Paradise; In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning; El Toro; Hallelujah.

Personnel

Yaron Herman: piano; Matt Brewer: bass; Gerald Cleaver: drums; Jean Pierre Ta

Album information

Title: A Time for Everything | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Laborie Records


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter Since 1995, shortly after the dawn of the internet, All About Jazz has been a champion of jazz, supporting it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to rigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album

Tags

More

Jazz Is Dead 14
Henry Franklin
With Grace In Mind
Dreamstruck
One Of The Others
Taurey Butler
Times Like These
Nica Carrington

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.