All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

324

Yaron Herman: Follow The White Rabbit

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Follow The White Rabbit is Israeli pianist Yaron Herman's fifth album—his first on the ACT label and his first with the rhythm section of bassist Chris Tordini and drummer Tommy Crane. Continuing the format of his past trio albums A Time For Everything (Laborie Records, 2007) and Muse (Laborie Records, 2009), Herman mixes original tunes and covers, including one or two unusual and not altogether successful choices.

Radiohead's "No Surprises" keeps close to the sound of the original: Herman's piano replicates Thom Yorke's vocal line but, without Yorke's emotional intensity, the whole becomes rather saccharine. No surprises, indeed. Kurt Cobain's "Heart Shaped Box" is given a similar treatment, but Crane's drumming is in stark and welcome contrast to Dave Grohl's on the Nirvana original and Herman's piano gives the tune a smoother and more lyrical feel, to replace Cobain's anger with sadness. Frank Churchill's "Baby Mine," from Dumbo (1941), gets a respectfully delicate treatment, but even without its lyrics the song is still cloyingly sentimental.

Herman's own compositions have an impressive maturity and range. "Cadenza" is a solo piano piece, beginning firmly in a classical style but opening out and becoming freer in its latter stages. "Airlines" starts as a mid-tempo tune with a rolling, fluid melody before it builds in intensity as first Tordini and then Herman deliver impressive solos. "Aladins (sic) Psychedelic Lamp" opens with dramatic piano chords but soon shifts gear to a softer and more reflective vibe. Crane and Tordini give "Clusterphobic" a gentle funkiness over which Herman creates an expansive and rich melody.

"Follow the White Rabbit," a trio composition, is a beautiful track featuring superb ensemble playing. In fact, the album's real strength is the quality of the trio's ensemble playing—Tordini and Crane are as crucial to the success of the music as Herman, even if Crane occasionally pushes a bit too hard, on "Trylon" or "The Mountain in G Minor" for example.

Herman has routinely been compared to Keith Jarrett and Brad Mehldau. This new trio line-up brings him closer to European contemporaries such as the Kit Downes or Tord Gustavsen trios—inventive yet melodic groups whose distinctive sound comes as much from the bass and drums as it does from the piano. His biography claims that he's "an exceptional phenomenon, unique in the history of piano playing"—that's pushing things a bit too far, but he is certainly an impressive player and writer and Follow The White Rabbit is the product of a fine new Trio.

Track Listing: Follow the White Rabbit; Saturn Returns; Trylon; Heart Shaped Box; Ein Gedi; The Mountain in G Minor; Cadenza; Airlines; Aladin's Psychedelic Lamp; Baby Mine; White Rabbit Robot; Clusterphobic; Wonderland; No Surprises.

Personnel: Yaron Herman: piano; Chris Tordini: double bass; Tommy Crane: drums.

Title: Follow The White Rabbit | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: ACT Music

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Everyday

Everyday

Blue Note Records
2015

buy
 

Alter Ego

ACT Music
2013

buy
 

Alter Ego

The ACT Company
2012

buy
Muse

Muse

Sunnyside Records
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Beheaded Totem CD/LP/Track Review
Beheaded Totem
by James Fleming
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Super Mood CD/LP/Track Review
Super Mood
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2018
Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read "Liver" CD/LP/Track Review Liver
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 16, 2018
Read "Theirs" CD/LP/Track Review Theirs
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 27, 2018
Read "Return of Robert Dickson" CD/LP/Track Review Return of Robert Dickson
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 30, 2017
Read "Trio Stonk: Live At Smalls" CD/LP/Track Review Trio Stonk: Live At Smalls
by David A. Orthmann
Published: November 4, 2017
Read "Encontros - Orquestra Atlantica" CD/LP/Track Review Encontros - Orquestra Atlantica
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 14, 2018
Read "Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6" CD/LP/Track Review Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour: The...
by Doug Collette
Published: April 3, 2018