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Dahveed Behroozi: Standard Fare


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Dahveed Behroozi: Standard Fare
What would be a recipe for presenting a standards project? Pianist Keith Jarrett could surely tell us. He breathed new life into the form that seemed to be fading out of fashion with his Standards, Vol. 1 (ECM Records, 1983). Then he went on to make a good chunk of his career with those familiar tunes, working with his Standards Trio that included bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette. The recipe seemed to be: Pick your songs well. Know the lyrics and let that knowledge come into play with your renditions. Improvise on the melodies and give us some surprises in your free-form explorations of them.

The recipe worked for Jarrett, and it works for Dahveed Behroozi, too, with his third CD release and his first solo piano outing, Standard Fare. All of the tunes are familiar, the melodies are engaging, and they lead the pianist off on exquisite improvisatory searches, where he goes without losing the core of the compositions.

Opening with Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's "All the Things You Are"—that was, incidentally, covered on Jarrett's Standards, Vol 1—Behroozi fudges a bit on step three of the recipe, focusing more on the song's structure than he does the melody; but that melody is still there, the deep truth of the tune, as Behroozi stretches out, leaning hard of the recipe's "surprises" admonition.

Cole Porter's "I Love Paris" is no stranger to the standard format, but it is probably the least covered of the tunes presented here. Its simple melody is uplifting, and Behroozi shifts back and forth between this and a brooding improvisatory mode. Thelonious Monk's "Round Midnight" begins brightly, unrecognizably, before Behroozi caresses the melody and takes the tune into it into the shadows, where it is usually found.

After exploring "The Nearness of You," the delicate beauty of "East of the Sun," "All of You" and more, Behroozi close with Monk's "Trinkle Tinkle," staying true to the sassy melody while injecting a different, classical music-like harmony to the tune, on the pianist's solo debut that says we may well hear more from him alone at the piano.

Track Listing

All The Things You Are; I Love Paris; With a Song In My Heart; All of You; Just One of Those Things; East of The Sun; Round Midnight; The Nearness of You; Trinkle Tinkle.


Album information

Title: Standard Fare | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records



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