6

Kevin Hays New Day Trio: North

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Kevin Hays New Day Trio: North The second album from the Kevin Hays New Day Trio does and doesn't follow in its predecessor's footsteps. On one hand you can argue that it's completely different, as Hays doesn't sing on this one and there are no guests to speak of here; on the other, you can certainly opine that the overt lyricism in this music, forged through Hays' fingers and enhanced by the extremely interactive and empathetic team of bassist Rob Jost and drummer Greg Joseph, is a clear link to New Day (Sunnyside, 2015). In truth, both thought camps are probably right. Hays has managed to tinker with the fine balance of musical distinctiveness and directional mutability in his work for more than two decades, so why should things be any different with this group? Better to simply enjoy this to-die-for music than split hairs over album-to-album connectivity.

North's name was born through historical and personal ties for Hays, referencing everything from Harlem's musical riches to the pianist's former upstate New York home/sanctuary to a metaphorical ideal. It's an album built on a specific platform of thought, but it's not a work that fixes the compass on a single point. In fact, the variety is quite staggering when you start to think about it: A twisted and spiked take on Charlie Parker's "Scrapple From The Apple" sits beside a sorrowful-turned-scintillating "Elegia"; a Chilean folk pastoral, painted freely by Hays' piano and Jost's ukulele, serves as a prelude to an excitable 5/4 romp on "Violetta"; staid socializing leads toward waltzing wonders through classical borrowings on "Schumann's Chamisso"; and funky feelings rule the day on "Sweet Caroline"—a Hays original, not the Neil Diamond party warhorse. All of that sits within the incredibly gratifying first half of the album.

The five tracks that follow continue to speak to Hays' creativity, both as a composer, interpreter, and conceptualist. Leadbelly's "Where Did You Sleep" points both to its deep folk-blues spirit and sunnier aspirations, the swinging "All Things Are" emerges from the roots of the eternal "All The Things You Are" and grows in different directions, the title track is both a reflection and a respite, and "I'll Remember April" bounces along on a 6/8 carriage and gets a slightly darker and more intriguing coat of harmonic paint than what's customarily used. Then album's end cites day's beginning on the ever-evolving yet melodically moored "Morning." It's certainly a clear sendoff, but it also brings you back, inviting another listen each and every time.

Track Listing: Scrapple From The Apple; Elegia; Violetta; Schumann's Chamisso; Sweeet Caroline; Where Did You Sleep; All Things Are; North; I'll Remember April; Morning.

Personnel: Kevin Hays: piano; Rob Jost: bass, ukulele; Greg Joseph: drums.

Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 25, 2017
Read Reflections CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 25, 2017
Read Back In Your Own Backyard CD/LP/Track Review Back In Your Own Backyard
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 25, 2017
Read Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin' CD/LP/Track Review Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin'
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 25, 2017
Read Through The Glass CD/LP/Track Review Through The Glass
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 25, 2017
Read Circles CD/LP/Track Review Circles
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Louisiana Soul Revival featuring Doug Duffey" CD/LP/Track Review Louisiana Soul Revival featuring Doug Duffey
by James Nadal
Published: May 16, 2016
Read "Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5
by Doug Collette
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "With Due Respect" CD/LP/Track Review With Due Respect
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 23, 2016
Read "Brian Bromberg" CD/LP/Track Review Brian Bromberg
by Dave Wayne
Published: May 28, 2016
Read "HUJE 2015" CD/LP/Track Review HUJE 2015
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 2, 2016
Read "Ida Lupino" CD/LP/Track Review Ida Lupino
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

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!