96

Geoff Keezer: Wildcrafted; Peter Martin: In the P.M.

Joel Roberts By

Sign in to view read count
Geoff Keezer
Wildcrafted: Live at the Dakota
MaxJazz
2005

Though still in their 30s, pianists Geoff Keezer and Peter Martin are seasoned veterans who have proven their mettle with some of the biggest names in jazz. Keezer is probably the better known of the two, with numerous albums as a leader and high-profile sideman gigs dating from his days as a teenage wunderkind with Art Blakey. His latest release on the MaxJazz label, Wildcrafted, is a typically impressive trio date recorded live in Minneapolis with bassist Matt Clohesy and drummer Terreon Gully.

Beginning with a radically reworked take on "Stompin' at the Savoy, Keezer and company explore an adventurous set that runs the gamut from Ellington to Björk (who, along with Radiohead appears to be the rock icon of choice for jazz artists these days). While rooted firmly in the mainstream, Keezer has a deep passion for East Asian music, which he indulges on original compositions like "Koikugari Bushi, drawing on the music of Okinawa and "Breath of the Volcano, taking its inspiration from a mountain in Japan. Though these tunes occasionally risk crossing the line from the intriguingly exotic to the no-man's land of new age, Keezer is saved by his dazzling technique and underlying hard bop sensibility.


Peter Martin
In the P.M.
MaxJazz
2005

Peter Martin has also been on the scene since his teen years, when he was "discovered in St. Louis by Wynton Marsalis. Since then, he's served ably in the bands of Joshua Redman, Roy Hargrove and Nicholas Payton, worked as musical director for singers like Betty Carter and Dianne Reeves and contributed to Marsalis' Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

Martin's new release, In the P.M., is a satisfying straight-ahead effort that pits the New Orleans-based pianist against the first-rate rhythm section of drummer Greg Hutchinson and bassist Reuben Rogers. Martin has a light, lyrical touch at the keyboard and a great feel for standards like "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To and "The Nearness of You, which feature the pleasant, though unexceptional vocals of Erin Bode. Martin shines on ballads like J.J. Johnson's "Lament but can also heat things up, as on the high-spirited opener "Never Let Me Go. Though there's nothing trailblazing here, In the P.M. is a relaxed, romantic album that should appeal to a wide array of listeners.


Wildcrafted

Tracks: Stompin' at the Savoy; Tea and Watercolors; Koikugari Bushi; Mirrim; Ghost in the Photograph; The Kindest Soul; Black and Tan Fantasy; Venus as a Boy; Breath of the Volcano.

Personnel: Geoff Keezer: piano; Fender Rhodes; Matt Clohesy: bass; Terreon Gully: drums.

In the P.M.

Tracks: Never Let Me Go; If It's Magic; You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To; Come Rain or Come Shine; Modern Cacophony; Only in a Dream; The Answer; Lament; 'Ting for Ray; The Nearness of You; It Could Happen to You.

Personnel: Peter Martin: piano, Fender Rhodes; Reuben Rogers: bass; Greg Hutchinson: drums; Erin Bode: vocals.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Two Sides of John Wetton Multiple Reviews Two Sides of John Wetton
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 20, 2017
Read The Pianist as Director: Ryuichi Sakamoto and August Rosenbaum Multiple Reviews The Pianist as Director: Ryuichi Sakamoto and August...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 13, 2017
Read A Sense of Place Multiple Reviews A Sense of Place
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 12, 2017
Read David Murray Octets on Black Saint Multiple Reviews David Murray Octets on Black Saint
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 11, 2017
Read New and Notable Releases Multiple Reviews New and Notable Releases
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 4, 2017
Read "Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment" Multiple Reviews Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 2, 2017
Read "Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series" Multiple Reviews Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Blues Deluxe 2" Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe 2
by Doug Collette
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Roots In The Green Mountains" Multiple Reviews Roots In The Green Mountains
by Doug Collette
Published: July 29, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.