Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

53

Hod O'Brien Trio

Craig Jolley By

Sign in to view read count
Bud Powell-inspired pianist/composer Hod O'Brien came to maturity on the late-50's New York scene, gigging and recording in the company of Oscar Pettiford, Art Farmer, J.R. Monterose, and others. I first noticed him years ago on "Diffusion of Beauty," a piece of exotica he wrote for a three-trumpet record with Farmer, Donald Byrd, and Idrees Sulieman. Like many of his contemporaries he dropped out of sight during the 1960's. O'Brien reemerged in the mid-70's on the New York club circuit and began a string of solid recordings. His authoritative touch, feel, and swing are immediately apparent, but above all he is a soloist.
The trio came off as an integrated ensemble conscious of leaving breathing room for each other and for their audience. O'Brien chose not to play any of his own pieces, but he did include a couple by one of his favorite writers, Tadd Dameron: "The Squirrel" (a blues) and "Our Delight." Both tunes elicited energy and direction from the band. "Fine and Dandy" with the Charlie Parker head featured Kreibich both as soloist and in exchanges with O'Brien. Horace Silver's "Strollin'" went on for chorus after chorus of imaginative single-note piano lines. O'Brien resisted the common temptation of a cheap Erroll Garner imitation on Garner's "Passin' Thru," a tune from O'Brien's new CD Have Piano Will Swing (Fresh Sound). Instead he took his inspiration from Garner's energy and built his approach on breaks that heightened tension and forward momentum. "A Gal in Calico" featured pedaled block chords a la Red Garland. O'Brien's uncrowded, single-note improv again had his audience smiling and shaking their heads.
Westin Hotel Los Angeles, CA. Hod O'Brien, piano; Jeff Littleton, bass; Paul Kreibich, drums.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC Winter Jazzfest Live Reviews Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Carl Bartlett, Jr. at Jazz At Kitano Live Reviews Carl Bartlett, Jr. at Jazz At Kitano
by Keith Henry Brown
Published: January 13, 2018
Read Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café Live Reviews Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: January 2, 2018
Read Terence Blanchard at Christ Church Cranbrook Live Reviews Terence Blanchard at Christ Church Cranbrook
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 29, 2017
Read Gary Peacock Trio at the Regattabar Jazz Club Live Reviews Gary Peacock Trio at the Regattabar Jazz Club
by Nat Seelen
Published: December 27, 2017
Read "Tony Bennett at Birmingham Symphony Hall" Live Reviews Tony Bennett at Birmingham Symphony Hall
by David Burke
Published: July 5, 2017
Read "Mat Maneri and Lucian Ban at Barbès" Live Reviews Mat Maneri and Lucian Ban at Barbès
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 7, 2017
Read "Mark Hagan's Jazz Salon At The Old 76 House" Live Reviews Mark Hagan's Jazz Salon At The Old 76 House
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Mat Maneri and Tanya Kalmanovitch at Korzo" Live Reviews Mat Maneri and Tanya Kalmanovitch at Korzo
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Sue Rynhart at The Cresent Arts Centre" Live Reviews Sue Rynhart at The Cresent Arts Centre
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 15, 2017