Danilo Perez's first live recording at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago with bassist Ben Street and drummer Adam Cruz finds the trio building an empathic level of communication; having played together for two and a half years has its advantages. Perez is still a hard-hitting pianist, but he balances this penchant with softer tunes that profile a circumspect side and bring a glow to his explorations.
The trio opens with one of the tunes Perez calls "spontaneous compositions," which are spur-of-the-moment improvisations. They get down to inventing the path right from the get-go as Perez blocks down chords with a sturdy left hand and plays a delectable melody with his right for "Preludio." As time ticks by, the piece turns out to be a showcase for his creativity as he fractures time, lets loose whorls, and parades an abundance of notes unleashed by his quick finger work.
Perez has an affinity for Thelonious Monk, and while he flirts with "We See" for just over a minute, he gives "Monk's Dream" an extended overview. Monk is not denied his influence, discernible in the early passages, but then Perez lends the tune his own weave as he gradually pushes the momentum, releases the tension, and uses a welter of notes to mark the song with his individuality. A gentle touch comes on "Rado De Nube, Perez restrained yet rhapsodic, setting off a beautiful mood.
Track Listing: Preludio; We See; Epilogo; Overjoyed; Metropolis; Rabo de Nube; Monk's Dream; Furrows; Unseen Hands; Native Soul; New Born; Cancion de Cuna; Paula C
Personnel: Danilo Perez (piano), Ben Street (bass), Adam Cruz (drums)