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Andy Ezrin: I Was Here

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Andy Ezrin: I Was Here
Pianist Andy Ezrin should be heard more often, and by a far wider audience. Like all commanders of the keyboard, he can make his chosen instrument sing, sigh, sway or soar, as he does the Fender Rhodes and Hammond B3 organ whenever he so chooses. On I Was Here, Ezrin doubles as composer, performing thirteen of his charming compositions in groups ranging from trio to quintet before playing the last one, "Cascades," alone.

Saxophonist Donny McCaslin sits in on eight numbers, trumpeter Randy Brecker on two. John Patitucci is the bassist, Marcus Gilmore and Ari Hoenig the alternating drummers. While everyone plays well, this is clearly Ezrin's date, and his versatile piano is the focal point on every number. He is comfortable in any mood and tempo, from ballad to burner, combining an elegant touch with singular awareness, and leads the way without being intrusive or overbearing.

McCaslin plays tenor sax most of the way, soprano on the mellow "Siren Song" and rapid-fire on "I'm Runnin' Outta Time." Brecker makes it a quintet on the sunny opener, "Grapes," and is warm and eloquent (muted) on the tender ballad "Never Enough." Ezrin is at his expressive best in the trio settings ("Luna," "Snowfall," "Lost Days") and on the lyrical finale, "Cascades." Patitucci is rock-solid, as always, while Gilmore and Hoenig lend exactly the proper amount of rhythmic support. As for McCaslin, he solos handsomely in spite of a tendency to over-use the tenor saxophone's upper register.

In sum, this is a bright and colorful session which pleases on a number of levels. As a CD's maximum playing time is roughly eighty minutes, it should be noted that Ezrin and his teammates play through and make the most of every one of them.

Track Listing

Grapes; This Is What It Is; Greenwoman; Luna; Siren Song; Snowfall; Ain’t That Some Shit; If I Don’t See You; Wiggle Room; Never Enough; I’m Runnin’ Out of Time; Lost Days; Cascades.

Personnel

Album information

Title: I Was Here | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Self Produced


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