The Piano & Drums Project: Motion

Mark Sullivan By

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The Piano & Drums Project: Motion
Mexican duo The Piano & Drums Project (P&Dp for short) plays extroverted populist jazz in the vein of groups like the Esbjorn Svensson Trio or The Bad Plus—they even include the requisite pop covers, "Head Over Heels" from Tears for Fears and Coldplay's "Trouble." Pianist Javier Resendiz and drummer Jorge Fernandez produce a full sound: you never miss the bass. Their empathy is immediately demonstrated in the shifting rhythms of opening track "Reaching Some Space." "Para Téllez" has bass patterns in the pianist's left hand, one of the few places where there is an explicit bass part. Since they're mostly not playing bebop, there's no need to cover walking bass lines.

Most of the time the piano voicings are full, while the drums are perhaps a little busier than usual to help fill the space. "Head Over Heels" is a good demonstration of how their arrangements work. The familiar tune is immediately recognizable, and the essential elements of the original arrangement are presented—but after that the duo just has fun with it, playing it with a contagious verve. "Growth" revisits the shifting rhythms idea, this time with dramatic starts and stops. And they're not afraid to experiment a bit, opening "What People Say" with abstract, textural playing (there's even a little space for that in the Tears for Fears cover), and going into mild avant-garde territory with "Goodby Blue Sky." "Starts" gives Fernandez the spotlight, playing a drum solo over a piano ostinato pattern.

These guys are smiling in the official band photo, and that sense of joy permeates this recording. It's fun to listen to, and really sounds like they had fun playing it. Serious jazz, but not at all solemn. We could use more of that.

Track Listing

Reaching Some Space; Para Téllez; Head over Heels; Growth; Atardecer En Tus Ojos; Sitting for a While; Goodbye Blue Sky; What People Say; Starts; Trouble; Retrato De Un Instante.


Javier Reséndiz: piano; Jorge Fernandez: drums.

Album information

Title: Motion | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

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