Brooklyn-based pianist Daniel Meron
rebels against the sometimes irksome ubiquity of electronic connectednesssmartphones, the internet, social mediawith This Was Now
, a solo piano recording of jazz standards, popular songs, Great American Songbook tunes, one free improvisation and one Israeli traditional song. He opens with the venerable "Body and Soul," a tune written in 1930, and launched to greater jazz fame by saxophonist Coleman Hawkins
' 1939 rendition. The one that danced around the melody without ever quite stating it.
The piano is a mechanical, eighty-eight keyed percussion instrumentshining in its gleaming wooden glory in what might be considered a majestic quaintness in opposition to the plastic, circuitry-fill electronic world. And if this is a Zen experience of sorts, as the title of the disc impliesand if it is also the taking of a tangent away from the insidious ensnarement of the webthe instrument used to make the statement, as well as the opening tune, are perfect choices. It is a sound that harkens to an arguably simpler time, comparatively electronic-free, almost completely electro-leash free. Meron plays it with a throw-back, early 1940s Nat "King" Cole
approach. But he doesn't let it settle in. His take on Miles Davis
"All Blues" is a race, edgy and full of manic urgency.
The modern teen-pop song, "Teenage Dirtbag," has a brooding, Brad Mehldau
feel that leads into Duke Ellington
's "I Got It Band (And That Ain't Good)," that shares an old timey jazz feeling akin to the opening "Body and Soul." Moren revisits both of those classic tunes (not successively, more like a Blue Note reissue with the alternate cuts placed at the end of the recording)inspecting different facets of these old gems.
Middle-Eastern motifs surface in "David," a tune that wouldn't sound out of place on a John Zorn
, Book of Angels recording; "2:25 pm," named for the time it was recorded, lets Meron prove his mettle on a pure, inward-looking improvisation. Charlie Parker
's "Confirmation" serves as a outward-looking highlight in a straight-through exceptional set.
Playing in a completely spontaneous modejust sit down and touch the keysDaniel Meron has created a consistently compelling listening experience with This Was Now