On his sophomore effort, West Coast-based pianist Dahveed Behroozi goes into a deeply atmospheric mode on Echoes. He is joined by a pair of blue ribbon sidemen in this piano trio affair. Drummer Billy Mintz, as a drummer-texturalist, is in a league with past greats Paul Motian and Jon Christensen, creating off-kilter, unsettled weather systems of his own, whether on one of his own too-infrequent recording or his work with pianist Roberta Piket, saxophonist John Gross, or pianist Hal Galper. Add Thomas Morgan (who seems to be everyone's favorite bassistguitarists Bill Frisell and Jakob Bro, saxophonist David Binney) to the mix for a distinctively beautiful, sometimes murky group sound which features eddies of crystalline clarity from the piano on a set of eight Behroozi originals and one Thomas Morgan-penned tune.
Behroozi also works as a classical pianist, and that influence shows on the opener, "Imagery," which features the pianist's Bill Evans-like subtlety of touch and ringing clarity of elocution. As with most of the album, the mood is dark, tinted with a probing uncertainty and a hypnotic sound sculpture vibe. "Chimes"' maintains that approach, in a more abstract manner, on a set which was recorded without rehearsalsjust sketches brought into the studio before the tape rolled. With sidemen of the caliber of Mintz and Morgan, extraordinary results are to be expected, and that is how the session played out, in its cerebral, inward- looking celebration of sound.
"Gilroy," an intensely ominous mid-tempo tune, serves as a gorgeous highlight, stalkingas the shadows fallthat line between jazz and classical. Behroozi, based in San Jose, California, teaches at Gavilan College in Gilroy, California, a city sometimes called "The Garlic Capitol of the World," which probably does not factor into the loose, brooding compositional aspect of the music; but no cityGarlic Capital or nothas had a more beautifully mysterious composition written for it.
This trio is a dream team. Echoes is an exceptional piano trio album. Hopefully Behroozi, Mintz and Morgan will get together in the studio again.
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