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Noah Haidu: Standards II


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Noah Haidu: Standards II
On Standards II, pianist Noah Haidu embarks on a captivating journey through the jazz tradition, accompanied by bassist Buster Williams and drummer Billy Hart. The seven tracks were recorded at the Van Gelder studio. The album starts with "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." This track, famously sung by Judy Garland in the 1939 film "Wizard of Oz," became her signature song. The opening, delivered with finesse by Hart, sets the stage for Haidu to build the number from the ground up, offering hints of the melody in a peek-a-boo fashion. As Haidu investigates the material, Williams and Hart prove they are empathetic partners. Balancing a reverence for tradition with an unyielding sense of innovation, the trio then looks to George and Ira Gershwin's 1926 composition "Someone to Watch Over Me" for inspiration. Haidu approaches the number with subtle harmonic shading, supported by Hart's silky brushwork and Williams's counterpoint.

The chemistry between the musicians is undeniable, with each track a testament to their collective prowess and deep musical understanding. The Freddie Hubbardcomposition "Up Jumped Spring" confirms this. Once the theme has been established, there is unsurpassed ensemble cohesion. Pedro Flores was a Puerto Rican composer of ballads and boleros. "Obsesión" is one of his best known works. Haidu embraces the bolero style and unspools rhythmic and flowing phrases that combine with harmonic enquiry.

The closer is Duke Ellington's "I've Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)." Haidu gives the number a sensitive reading as he runs through the melody, leaving space for William's exemplary bass and Hart's feather-light brushwork.

Track Listing

Somewhere Over The Rainbow; Someone to Watch Over Me; Up Jumped Spring; Obsesión; Dayas of Wine and Roses; After You've Gone; I Git it Bad (And That Ain't Good).


Buster Williams
bass, acoustic

Album information

Title: Standards II | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

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