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Greg Reitan: Antibes

Dan McClenaghan By

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Greg Reitan: Antibes Los Angeles-based pianist Greg Reitan's debut, Some Other Time (Sunnyside Records, 2009), introduced a surprisingly mature talent. With a mix of American Songbook gems, some fine originals, a surprise or two, and a couple of jazz standards—all rendered with a distinctively sure and elegant touch—the pianist announced himself as a top tier talent in the crowded and ever-vibrant piano trio field.

Antibes, Reitan's sophomore effort, is more of the same.

Recording with the same interactive trio he employed on his debut—bassist Jack Daro and drummer Dean Koba—Reitan opens the set with the title tune, a delicately gorgeous original. It's a bright yet pensive tune dashed with shadowy nooks and a supple, nuanced but unobtrusive bass/drum accompaniment.

The trio goes again to the American Songbook with "For Heaven's Sake." The introspective ballad gets a respectful treatment, displaying Reitan's mastery of touch in a rendition that has a wistful, wee hours feeling.

Pianist Denny Zeitlin's "Time Remembers One Time Once" is a supremely assured take of a tune from the pen of one of Reitan's influences. His remarkable feel for the subtleties of touch is, again, evident. The Bill Evans gem, "Re: The Person I Knew," nods to another obvious Reitan influence, with beautiful chords, a crispy-intricate melody and a smooth sizzle of a rhythm.

"Salinas," another Reitan original, has a bubbling-with-life feeling, while "Waltz for Meredith," written for the pianist's wife, glows with serene, rock-solid strength and undeniable beauty.

Reitan closes the disc with "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," done most famously by Frank Sinatra on the 1955 Capitol Records album of the same name. The pianist, performing solo, plays the melody straight—and such a lovely melody it is, especially in Reitan's hands; and what a spare and perfect close to a first-rate CD by a bright new talent.

Track Listing: Antibes; For Heaven's Sake; Waltz for Meredith; One Step Ahead; Fall; Time Remembered One Time Once; Sympathy; September; Re: The Person I Knew; Late Summer Variations; Salinas; In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning.

Personnel: Greg Reitan: piano; Jack Daro: Bass; Dean Koba: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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