40

Taurey Butler: Taurey Butler

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Taurey Butler: Taurey Butler A keen interest in learning and a predilection for Oscar Peterson-style piano playing seem to be the two biggest guiding forces behind pianist Taurey Butler's life journey thus far. The New Jersey native started on piano in his youth, but put the instrument on the back burner until a Peterson-produced epiphany rekindled his interest in the 88s toward the end of his high school days.

While he clearly had talent, he never put all of his eggs in a music basket and he pursued other interests. Butler moved on to Dartmouth College, where he studied Japanese and majored in electrical engineering, eventually returning to the tri-state area upon graduating, ready to further himself musically. Word of his skills spread quickly and performance opportunities started to open up for the young pianist. He made a key connection with bassist Eldee Young, who took the budding pianist with him for an extended stay in Asia. Upon Young's passing in 2007, Butler relocated to Montreal, Canada, where he made his musical presence felt and landed a steady gig at that city's well known House of Jazz.

Much of the material presented on Butler's self-titled debut was culled from the club set repertoire that he doles out on a weekly basis at House of Jazz, but he also put his pen to good use and wrote some originals for the occasion. The first of his compositions to surface, "An Afternoon Downtown," is a Latin-leaning number that features bassist Eric Lagace, and each original thereafter offers something different. "Grandpa Ted's Tune" is a romping good time, "Voice For All" has an odd-metered undercurrent, "From The Other Side" is a feisty sprint of a piece and "Nobody's Here" is the lone introspective entry in the set.

Butler's piano work is generally muscular and showy, as one would expect from a self-professed Peterson lover, but his virtuosity isn't one-dimensional. He uses his skills to serve the songs and he finds interesting ways to wring the new out of the old. "The Lady Is A Tramp" is given new life and direction, with stealthy stops and twists, and "Emily," originally born as a ballad, is recast as a buoyant waltz. The dream sequence opening of "Moonlight In Vermont," with a steady flow of cascading piano, arco support and cymbal rolls, eventually leads to the expected ballad performance, but it's those opening moments that vividly remain in the mind.

While Butler doesn't leave much room to catch a breath, delivering a program with plenty of adrenaline-infused burners, he also doesn't leave any doubt about his skills as a performer and writer. Taurey Butler is a take-no-prisoners piano trio outing capable of knocking over anything in its path.

Track Listing: Sunrise, Sunset; The Lady Is A Tramp; An Afternoon Downton; Moonlight In Vermont; Grandpa Ted's Tune; Voice For All; Please Send Me Someone To Love; Emily; From The Other Side; Nobody's Here; The Preacher.

Personnel: Taurey Butler: piano; Eric Lagace: bass; Wali Muhammad: drums.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Justin Time Records


Shop

More Articles

Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Dreamsville CD/LP/Track Review Dreamsville
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2017
Read April CD/LP/Track Review April
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Small World CD/LP/Track Review Small World
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 26, 2017
Read High Time CD/LP/Track Review High Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "The Wild" CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 18, 2017
Read "Known-Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Lightyears" CD/LP/Track Review Lightyears
by Jim Olin
Published: July 2, 2016
Read "Steelonious" CD/LP/Track Review Steelonious
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Crowded Solitudes" CD/LP/Track Review Crowded Solitudes
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 6, 2016
Read "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 18, 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!