Over the course of his first endearing works, 2016's stunning, NPR Debut Of The Year Clockwork
(New Fresh Sounds), Earthlings
(Criss Cross, 2018) and the lush Thoughts Become Things
(Criss Cross, 2019), pianist/composer Victor Gould
has exhibited a relaxed romanticism, an unerring lilt to his music. A warm empathy that draws you into the joyful, reflective and quiet moments abounding on In Our Time
As the sum and advocate of his influences, young Gould not only has a Masters in Music from Loyola University's Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, he was one of the first recipients of Berklee's Herbie Hancock Presidential Scholarship. He has played alongside Jazzmeia Horn
, Esperanza Spalding
, Wallace Roney
and Terence Blanchard
, and won an ASCAP Young Composers Award.
Having worked with larger musical palettes on previous releases, In Our Time
focuses primarily on the resourcefulness of Gould's vibrant trio with bassist Tamir Shmerling
and drummer Anwar Marshall
, and dances its way into consciousness with "Blue Lotus." A jazz dance if ever there was, the tune is a graceful, artful confluence of rapport and enthusiasm.
Mentored by the late Ralph Peterson
and Roney, Gould's music reflects the free precision each teacher swore by. Thus "Lord Wallace" and "Dear Ralph" radiate with life as the trio displays a keen understanding of tight, split-second swing. Shmerling's solo during "Dear Ralph" hops with expectancy and nuance. Saxophonist Dayna Stephens
brings late-night afterglow to Gigi Gryce
's "Minority" and sass to Wayne Shorter
's "Infant Eyes." Like Duke Ellington
, Gould is elegant throughout, his solos rousing, injecting tradition and verve, bringing to the fore all we've come to expect from him and then some. Though the closing trio with string quartet, "In Memorium," might be a bit weepy it still luxuriates in itself. The kicker could be the 6/8 title tune, where Gould, Shmerling and Marshall bring it all to bear.
Blue Lotus; Lord Wallace; Dear Ralph; Resilience; Showtime; Queen Alma; Ascension; Infant Eyes;
Minority; In Our Time; In Memorium.