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Pianist Roberta Piket likes to push the envelope a little, which makes Love and Beauty an interesting adventure. Piket is joined by her usual cohortsbassist Ratzo Harris and drummer Billy Mintzin this offering of original material and two standards.
Things begin with Piket's "I'm My Everything (loosely based on Harry Warren's "You're My Everything ), a piece that shows off her skill with a contrapuntal element as well as Mintz's right-on drum work. Another original, "For Uncle Harvey, is a lovely waltz, played wistfully and enhanced by Mintz's subtle brushwork. The title track, a ballad by Mintz, is a sensitive piece that could well be movie score material and features some beautiful Harris arco. Mintz also contributes "Destiny, sung by Piket, the "closet singer, as she describes herself. Her voice has almost no vibrato and a languid quality which works well with this ballad. The track also features a lyrical solo by guest Rich Perry on tenor saxophone. Two of Piket's other originals ("Alone, Alone and "Claude's Clawed ) are bop-oriented and display able piano chops and tight trio interplay.
Piket has a different treatment for each of the two standards. She completely deconstructs Jimmy Webb's "Up, Up and Away, playing the lyrics and reharmonizing the chords, leading into an explosive drum solo by Mintz. Cole Porter's "So in Love is done slowly, with a moody atmosphere effectively colored by more of Harris' arco bass work and Mintz's mallets.
Piket is a pianist who plays sparingly, but evokes emotions and colors well. She has put together a cohesive musical unit which allows for individual expression as well as a distinctive group sound.
Track Listing: I'm My Everything; For Uncle Harvey; Up, Up and Away; Flight; Love and Beauty; Destiny; Alone, Alone; Claude's Clawed; So In Love.
Personnel: Roberta Piket: piano and vocal; Ratzo Harris: bass; Billy Mintz: drums; Rich Perry: tenor saxophone (6).
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.