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Django Bates: Beloved

Mike Jurkovic By

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With boundless humor and flexible grace, pianist Django Bates offers us The Study of Touch the perfect piano trio music for the significant other who absolutely hates piano trio music.

This is the first I have heard of Django Bates though he has been making shrewd music since 1979. He has played with a host of names, including former Yes and King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford; fellow free thinking percussionist George Russell, and musical chaos master and ECM label mate Tim Berne. He has been rousing the British and European jazz venues since the 1990s. Makes you wonder how American-centric one can get.

Anyway, it is with a sense of wonder that you find yourself listening to the rollicking, shape shifting, "Giorgiantics" as it moves seamlessly into old school mode on "Little Petherick" wherein Bates and his fellow space benders, bassist Petter Eldh and drummer Peter Bruun share inspiration with the leader, and the leader follows where they flow. With a pulling swing, "Senza Bitterness" is there one moment and gone the next, leaving you wondering how they did all that in under four minutes.

The lengthy "The Study of Touch" is a fluidly lush affair with the Muse, as is the nearly comic "Slippage Street" and the irrepressible stylings and romance of "Peonies As Promised." As they have done in the past with Beloved Bird the trio does immeasurable justice to Charlie Parker, and the pinnacle of that is right here on Bird's signature "Passport," two minutes and forty seconds of pure play. I cannot stop listening to this one. Neither can my significant other.

Track Listing: Sadness All The Way Down, Giorgiantics, Little Petherick, Senza Bitterness, We Are Not Lost We Are Simply Finding Our Way, This World, The Study of Touch, Passport, Slippage Street, Peonies As Promised, Happiness All The Way Up

Personnel: Django Bates - piano, Petter Eldh - double bass, Peter Bruun - drums

Title: Beloved | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: ECM Records

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