173

Art Hirahara: Noble Path

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Art Hirahara: Noble Path Art Hirahara has gained the most notice for his work on saxophonist Fred Ho's adventurous outings, but the pianist's own music, while occasionally outward bound, often has a more immediately accessible sound to it. Featuring eight pieces from Hirahara's pen and four newly arranged classics, Noble Path is a piano trio record that's both commonplace and unique. The album can seem like a standard trio affair because few pieces veer too far off the road and the material is delivered with polish and panache, but Hirahara's sense of programming and ability to tap into different ideas at will, and the communicative skills within the trio, all help to elevate this album high above the mundane musical meals that often tend to serve as piano trio outings.

Hirahara expertly covers all of the must-haves on a trio date, including a jazz waltz ("Ebb And Flow"), perky and soulful Brazilian-inspired fare ("Stood Down"), classy (if somewhat forgettable) straightforward swing ("I'm OK"), and enjoyable standards ("All Or Nothing At All" and "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye"), but he also pushes the envelope in a few places. He delivers music with a loose and flowing celestial aura ("Peace Unknown") and explores the darker and scarier side of night music ("Nocturne") with supreme skill and a fearless attitude.

While the majority of the music focuses in on Hirahara, with drummer Dan Aran and bassist Yoshi Waki providing support and taking a backseat as soloists, that isn't always the case. The looser numbers tend to be more collaborative affairs, Waki's work at the outset of "Vast" proves to be the best part of the piece, and both rhythm men trade fours and have a ball on a buoyant take of Billy Strayhorn's "Isfahan." Of the standards, Dizzy Gillespie's "Con Alma" tends to stand out because of its unique arrangement in five and the sheer joy that all three musicians seem to be feeling, but all four classic covers are first-rate. In fact, all twelve pieces on Noble Path give notice that Art Hirahara's music is worth hearing.


Track Listing: I'm OK; All Or Nothing At All; Stood Down; Ebb And Flow; Noble Path; Con Alma; Peace Unknown; Change Your Look; Isfahan; Nocturne; Vast; Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye.

Personnel: Art Hirahara: piano; Yoshi Waki: bass; Dan Aran: drums.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Shovel Down" CD/LP/Track Review Shovel Down
by Doug Collette
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Blue Canvas" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Canvas
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "Functioning Broke" CD/LP/Track Review Functioning Broke
by Doug Collette
Published: July 3, 2016
Read "Saturday Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Saturday Songs
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 19, 2016
Read "Sounds Of 3" CD/LP/Track Review Sounds Of 3
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!