Perhaps it was pianist Matt Piet
's appearances with esteemed reedman Dave Rempis
on the co-operative Hit The Ground Running
(Aerophonic, 2016) which first started to garner him attention, but he is certainly beginning to gain a reputation in his own right, a trend which can only be furthered by the release of Rummage Out
. Piet set aside his classical studies to focus on jazz during his stint at Berklee College of Music and, since his return to his native Chicago in 2014, he has become increasingly prominent in the city's still-fertile scene.
Tongue firmly in cheek, Piet calls the assemblage of Windy City luminaries responsible for Rummage Out
His Disorganization. Of course, they are anything but, notwithstanding the unscripted origin of the two lengthy live cuts. That's down to the on-the-fly navigation smarts of drummer Tim Daisy
, cornetist Josh Berman
and alto saxophonist Nick Mazzarella
, all fixtures in many of Chicago's premier adventurous units with the likes of Ken Vandermark
, Rob Mazurek
, Keefe Jackson
and Jason Adasiewicz
. Together they ensure a group coherence which promotes collective crescendos, sudden halts and, even, extemporized balladry.
The greater transparency which stems from the absence of a bass makes it easier to appreciate Piet's persuasive blend of percussive clang and melodic pizzazz, important when the interaction thickens as it often does. Even within the ensemble passages, the pianist keeps up a responsive substructure of rolling chords, jabbing figures and wayward runs. He turns bluesy in company with Berman part way through "Lost & Found," but then later his fast-blossoming line comes on like a latter-day Bud Powell
Both tracks encompass a variety of moods in a rollercoaster ride, touching on jazzy, free and, even, rocky terrain. Mazzarella and Berman's loosely intertwining horns provide a striking feature throughout, but especially on "The Last Place You Look" where they bicker and spar relentlessly. Piet's Morse-code hammering inspires first tappy drum syncopation and then unfurling saxophone skronk before a spontaneous reveille and some rustling percussion to finish.
Once again, Piet makes it clear that he will be a reinvigorating presence for many years to come.
Lost & Found; The Last Place You Look.
Josh Berman: cornet; Nick Mazzarella: alto saxophone; Matt Piet: piano; Tim Daisy: drums, percussion.