Various Artists: Pirouet Jazz Compilation Vol. I: The Best Is Yet to Come

Woodrow Wilkins By

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One good way to kick start a jazz collection for the beginner is to explore a compilation—if not the best of a particular artist, then perhaps the varied selections of multiple artists assigned to a label. In this effort, Pirouet Records' Pirouet Jazz Compilation Vol. I: The Best Is Yet to Come brings together 11 songs from 10 of the label's recent releases.

Trumpeter Tim Hagans' "See You Again," from Alone Together (2008), begins the almost 80-minute collection. The delightful piece, written by pianist Marc Copland, sums up the album's subtitle, suggesting even better sounds with subsequent tracks. That isn't necessarily the case, though, because Hagans' spirited lead makes this easily one of the more enjoyable offerings.

"Toad," by pianist Bill Stewart, presents an unusual trio approach. With Stewart on drums, Larry Goldings on organ and Kevin Hays on piano, this piece is from Incandescence (2008). Goldings uses the organ to cover the bass line while Stewart's play on the cymbals is crisp. He rolls the toms at the appropriate times and is deeply engaged, regardless of whether Goldings or Hays has the lead.

Guitarist John Abercrombie wrote and is featured on "River Bend," from Copland's Another Place (2008). The pianist's triplets behind Abercrombie's opening melody gives the song a sense of flow; Billy Hart's cymbal crashes add to that feeling. Meanwhile, the guitar goes on an adventure.

Others featured on this compilation are Pablo Held, Walter Lang Jr., John Ruocco, Bill Carrothers, Achim Kaufmann, Jason Seizer and John Schroder. It all comes together nicely to highlight not only some of the best but also the diversity that Pirouet has to offer.

Track Listing: See You Again; Forest of Oblivion; Toad; Way Too Early; River Bend; Kuk Kuk; Home Row; Stanley Park; Time Being; Mood 1697; See Ya.

Personnel: Marc Copland: Tim Hagans: trumpet (1); Marc Copland: piano (1, 5, 9); Drew Gress: bass (1, 5); Jochen Ruckert: drums (1); Pablo Held: piano (2); Robert Landfermann: bass (2); Jonas Burgwinkel: drums (2); Bill Stewart: drums (3, 7, 11); Larry Goldings: organ (3, 11); Kevin Hays: piano (3, 11); Walter Lang Jr.: piano (4); Lee Konitz: alto saxophone (4); John Abercrombie: guitar (5); Billy Hart: drums (5); John Ruocco: clarinet (6); John Taylor: piano (6); Riccardo Del Fra: bass (6); Bill Carrothers: piano (7); Gary Peacock: bass (7); Achim Kaufmann: piano (8); Valdi Kolli: bass (8); Jim Black: drums (8); Jason Seizer: tenor saxophone (9); Matthias Pichler: bass (9); Tony Martucci: drums (9); John Schroder: piano (10); Christian Weidner: alto saxophone (10); Olver Potratz: bass (10); Oliver Steidle: drums (10).

Title: Pirouet Jazz Compilation Vol. I: The Best Is Yet to Come | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Pirouet Records


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