8

Art Fristoe Trio: Double Down

James Nadal By

Sign in to view read count
Art Fristoe Trio: Double Down To paraphrase a well-worn cliché, all music is local. Pianist Art Fristoe is well established in the Houston area as both a dynamic musician, and educator at The High School for Performing and Visual Arts. Reaching beyond his home turf, the Art Fristoe Trio release, Double Down, is a powerful two-disc set encompassing a variety of jazz compositions, which requires repeated listening for full appreciation.

The first disc opens with reworked material from various artists as "Smells Like Teen Spirit," by Nirvana, which he plays in a circular pattern, the identifying riff done with a full chordal attack. Guitarist Lionel Loueke is covered with "Benny's Tune," Fristoe moving over to electric piano. He stays on the electric keys for "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds," as The Beatles opus goes through a total transformation, becoming a sojourn into experimental fusion. But it is his acoustic piano work on tunes as diverse as the odd-metered "Alone Together," and the ballad "Wrong Together," that stimulates the ears.

The accompanists on most of the tracks are his regular working band, bassist Tim Ruiz, and drummer Richard Cholakian. This lineup is changed on "Caravan," which brings in Daleton Lee on drums, augmented by percussionist Ilya Janos. These two return on the second disc, taking the samba "Ela é Carioca" for a tropical stroll; and re-appear on "Speak Low."

Disc two also exhibits that Fristoe is quite comfortable going solo as he does on his original ballads "Better Lately," and "Interlude," revealing a serene side to his talent. "Seventh-Hour Walkup," goes back to the electric instruments, with flashes of prog-rock influences. The straight ahead jazz leanings on "Lambastin'" another Fristoe composition, showcases his grasp of be-bop piano, as does the standard "Beautiful Love." The Latin tinge appears on "Tres Palabras," an undulating glimpse at romance south of the border.

There is a lot of music in this package, which speaks volumes for Fristoe, as he appears to be locked into perpetual engagement. His friend and producer, Joe Peine, says it best: "His playing combines intellect, fiery technique, driving grooves, soulfulness, tenderness, thoughtful harmonization, naturally played alternative meters, and he is full of ideas." So, if ever in Houston, go check out the best pianist in town, Art Fristoe.

Track Listing: Disc 1: Smells Like Teen Spirit; ECM; Benny’s Tune; Caravan; Alone Together; Wrong Together; Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds; Blackbird; Disc 2: Forgetting I knew You; Ela é Carioca; Seventh-Four Walkup; Better Lately; Lambastin’; Interlude; Interlude; Beautiful Love; Tres Palabras; Speak Low.

Personnel: Art Fristoe: piano; Tim Ruiz: bass; Richard Cholakian: drums; Daleton Lee: drums (disc 1: 4, 5, disc 2: 2, 9); Ilya Janos: percussion (disc 1: 4, disc 2: 2, 9).

Title: Double Down | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Merry Lane Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Double Down
Merry Lane Records
2017
buy

More Articles

Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read We Know Not What We Do CD/LP/Track Review We Know Not What We Do
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Slade Alive! CD/LP/Track Review Slade Alive!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Hope CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "King Of Xhosa" CD/LP/Track Review King Of Xhosa
by James Nadal
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "How to Build a City" CD/LP/Track Review How to Build a City
by Jim Olin
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "Rekihndled" CD/LP/Track Review Rekihndled
by Doug Collette
Published: April 8, 2017
Read "Sketches on the Radio" CD/LP/Track Review Sketches on the Radio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 14, 2016
Read "I Walk Amongst Humans" CD/LP/Track Review I Walk Amongst Humans
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: August 3, 2016
Read "Live At The Open Gate" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Open Gate
by John Sharpe
Published: August 29, 2016

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!