Born in Canada, pianist Bryn Roberts has enjoyed a prolific career as a session artist since moving to New York City in 2001. Snuggled within a modern mainstream vibe, his persuasive compositions pay homage to melodic content, often complemented by saxophonist Seamus Blake
's burly delivery and fluid lines. Nonetheless, many of these works contain quite a bit of bounce and pop, as Roberts is a shrewd technician who knows when to balance power and restraint, alongside a light touch amid his deftly articulated phrasings.
Roberts incorporates two time-honored standards into the track mix within the scope of his impressive original comps. He gives Cole Porter
's "In The Still Of The Night" the brisk swing treatment, serving as a good indicator of his sensitivities to song-form and the reimagining of a frequently covered pop tune. Here, the pianist lushly states the melody but doesn't overdo the sugary aspects, all the while dishing out Bill Evans
-like single note flurries via tension and release statements and linearly rendered harmonics. Roberts incorporates a few bars of Latin-jazz leading to punchy choruseswhere drummer Jonathan Blake
peppers and pushes the proceedingsthen uses space as a vehicle for the musicians to breathe and regenerate the primary theme. Hence, Roberts sparks an effervescent and freshly envisioned reworking of a piece that has been covered countless times over the years by jazz and pop artists.