On his fourth release as a leader, the thoughtful and captivating New Beginning, pianist Burak Bedikyan has matured both as a composer and improviser. The album is Bedikyan's first with a trio and consists mostly, although not entirely, of original material. The cadence and the melody within each piece transform in delightfully surprising ways while maintaining thematic consistency both within individual tracks and among them.
For instance, "Rue Dauphin" starts off with Bedikyan's contemplative, unaccompanied refrains. Bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Adam Nussbaum contribute spare beats that, together with the pianist's resonant keys, form a mellifluous tune in a relaxed and celebratory ambience. After each musician takes his turn in the spotlight, with eloquent and exuberant improvisations, the music becomes an angular, stimulating three-way conversation which dovetails into the next piece. The short and energetic "Leo" follows with a breathtakingly fast and agile group performance that crackles with spontaneity.
Similarly, the wistful "Ayça" starts off as a ballad steeped in eastern motifs. Bedikyan plays yearning phrases that mix with Anderson's lyrical lines and Nussbaum's sashaying brushes, and create passionate sonic poetry. Anderson's agile and warm solo further underscores this poetic sense. Bedikyan showcases his own virtuosity on "Epilogue" as he goes from a haunting and, a touch, dissonant extemporization, with western classical influences, to a meandering one that alternates between dense resonant chords and cascades of bluesy notes. Nussbaum drives the music with his thunderous and elegant polyrhythms.
Bedikyan has titled New Beginning correctly as it is a departure from his previous work, yet is rooted firmly in it. On it Bedikyan finds his own, unique voice. He also expands on inventive ideas and concepts without hesitation. Moreover, he demonstrates remarkable aptitude as a band leader as well as superb camaraderie with his sidemen. This recording is a definite high point in an otherwise stellar career.
No Complaints; Surya; Interlude; Epilogue; Ayça; Prelude; Rue Dauphin; Leo; Blues Me Up; Things We Are;
Stella By Starlight; Magic Carpet.
Burak Bedikyan: piano; Jay Anderson: bass; Adam Nussbaum: drums.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.