102

Randy Halberstadt: Parallel Tracks

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Randy Halberstadt: Parallel Tracks The piano trio format serves me not only as a sort of nourishment, but also as a form of reset device. Every couple of months I push back the larger ensemble discs and and pull out the most vibrant piano trio discs of the past year or so, put them on the stereo and listen to some jazz, straight, no chaser, for pure personal enjoyment, and to recalibate the ears.

Seattle-based pianist Randy Halberstadt's Parallel Tracks, with its collective interaction and well-chosen standards mixed in with some obscure gems, and the leader's sometimes off-kilter eloquence and mainstream grace, is one of those recalibrators.

Artie Shaw's "Moonray" opens the set, with Halberstadt sounding rather angular and sharp in front of the rhythm's bounce, drummer Gary Hobb's intricate textures, the tick and shimmer of his cymbal work. "Don't Forget the Poet" (Enrico Pieranunzi) explores a darkly beautiful ballad, with an engrossing bass turn by Jeff Johnson. Sometimes—too often—the bass man stepping out front causes a distraction, a breaking of the mood; but Johnson's fluid eloquence of artculation in front of Halberstadt's concise comping and Hobb's subtle, orchestral textures serves as an enhancement, fully integrated into the theme of the song.

The wistful ballad "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning" is done here with a straightforward spareness, allowing the undilluted loveliness of the melody to take center stage. Monk's "Well You Needn't," on the other hand, starts out reverent and up-tempo, with an exaggerated stop time, before it melts into a loose abstraction of the tune—and listen to Gary Hobbs' constant high-end simmer, anchored by the occasional lower end rolling boil.

Add to these fresh takes on Ray Noble's "The Touch of Your Lips," Bill Evans' "B Minor Waltz," and Cole Porter's "Everything I Love," and you've got a recalibrator of the highest order, in a league with Brad Mehldau's Anything Goes (Warner Brothers, '04) and Keith Jarrett's Up for It (ECM, '03).

Visit Randy Halberstadt online at www.randyhalberstadt.com .


Track Listing: Moonray, Don't Forget the Poet, In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, Invitation, The Touch of Your Lips, Nocturne in C# Minor, B Minor Waltz, Well You Needn't, Everything I Love

Personnel: Randy Halberstadt--piano; Jeff Johnson--bass; Gary Hobbs--drums

Year Released: 2004 | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Sunflower / Goodbye" CD/LP/Track Review Sunflower / Goodbye
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Rhythm and Romance" CD/LP/Track Review Rhythm and Romance
by Jeff Winbush
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "Tales From A Forbidden Land" CD/LP/Track Review Tales From A Forbidden Land
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Oratorios and Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Oratorios and Songs
by John Eyles
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "The Getaway" CD/LP/Track Review The Getaway
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: June 25, 2016
Read "Tuesday Prayers" CD/LP/Track Review Tuesday Prayers
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 29, 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!