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Dor Herskovits Trio: Happy

Budd Kopman By

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Dor Herskovits Trio: Happy
Happy is the debut digit-only EP release (available here) from drummer Dor Herskovits who leads his trio, pianist Isaac Wilson and bassist Max Salinger-Ridley through one standard, "My One And Only Love" and four other original compositions totally about twenty-seven minutes of very fine music making.

As a piano trio, Wilson is naturally out front, and is an extremely articulate player with a very nice touch and wonderful harmonic and rhythmic instincts, with Herskovits and Ridley providing sensitive support and occasionally pushing to the front.

The immediate feeling of the group is one of extremely cohesion, of being able to turn on a dime, while also exhibiting an emotional transparency that is at times almost startling, managing to be both lush and spare simultaneously. Herskovits states that the group's inspiration comes from such famous trios as that of Ahmad Jamal, Keith Jarrett and Brad Mehldau, and this performance does everything to support such lofty comparisons.

"My One And Only Love" opens the proceedings and is longest track, allowing all the time needed for the gorgeous chordal introduction, which lasts a full two minutes, to set up a very sly melodic implication. The trio is not just playing the tune, but deconstructing it and then putting it back together slowly, piece by piece, carrying us along and building anticipation and tension with each new twist and turn. This is true mastery on display, and it is the opposite of showy technique, but rather is a deep emotional exploration to which we have been invited. Magnificent track.

The four originals are all close to five minutes, and each explores a different mood and style, from a cool swing to free rhythms. "Happy" is just that, bouncing along, while "Speck Of Sky" is on the ruminating side, gathering intensity as it goes. The vibe changes again with "Nyquil" as an easy going theme is undercut at times by a slightly ominous figure and harmony. The ending track, "Waltz," has a distinct Chopin-esque feel to it in the way that a light, floating melody is given a dark, serious treatment.

Happy signals the sparking debut of a trio that knows exactly what it wants to do, and communicates an intensity that is tempered with the joy of music making.

Herskovits and company surely have a fine future ahead of them.

Track Listing

My One And Only Love; Happy; Speck Of Sky; Nyquil; Waltz.

Personnel

Isaac Wilson: piano; Max Salinger-Ridley: bass; Dor Herskovits: drums.

Album information

Title: Happy | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

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