What zesty, light-stepping, buoyant sounds these are. There's some serious swinging happening on Dutch pianist Peter Beets' New Groove.
Beets employs two different trios, one from New York, the other from his native Netherlands. Both trios utilize piano, guitar and bass, reminiscent of Ahmad Jamal's 1955 recordings with guitarist Ray Crawford and bassist Israel Crosby, available on Ahmad Jamal Trio (Definitive Records, 2006), or more swingingly on the work of Oscar Peterson, bassist Ray Brown and guitarists Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis.
New Groove is Beets' fourth Criss Cross Records release, following New York Trio (2001), New York TrioPage 2 (2003) and New York TrioPage 3 (2005), all employing the standard piano, bass and drums format.
The guitar/piano teaming enriches the harmonic element, and Beets and guitarists Joe Cohen and Martijn Van Iterson switch back and forth with Beets on soloing and comping, giving the music an organically vibrant feel. The set has an especially relaxed, off-the-cuff vibe, sounding loose and spontaneous within the mainstream framework.
The set opens with Harry Warren's familiar gem, "You're My Everything," sounding especially crisp and lively, then slips into a gorgeous take on Kern and Mercer's "I'm Old Fashioned" before moving into a zingy Beets original, "Blues for Giltay." Irving Berlin's "They Say It's Wonderful," has Beets sounding particularly like Oscar Peterson. And speaking of Peterson, the master gets another nod with Beets' take on Nat King Cole's "Easy Listening Blues," which Peterson recorded on his tribute album With Respect to Nat (Polygram Records, 1965).
There's no new ground broken on New Groove, but Beets and his trios swing over the old ground with an engaging panache on an especially fine trio outing.
Track Listing: You're My Everything; I'm Old Fashioned; Blues for Giltay; In Your Own Sweet Way; They Say It's Wonderful; Nuages; Three Little words; Easy Listening Blues; Parker 51; But Beautiful; Tricotism.
Rhythm Abstraction: Azure is the first volume of new compositions created as a follow up to 2018’s
release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion
solos. Frank Macchia then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Azure
is the first of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in
January and followed up in April and July. In Azure we have a created a group of pieces that continue
our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of
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