All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

126

Harold Danko: Three of Four

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
Even when it seems that you've heard all that there is to hear and all of the up-and-coming musicians that are out there to hear, someone will inadvertently pop up and surprise you. Such is the case with pianist Harold Danko, a gentleman who works as a college educator by day, stepping out once in awhile to lead a record date or two for Sunnyside or SteepleChase. It was his recent work for the latter label, as part of a great quartet, that brought Danko to the attention of this reviewer. Since then, his remarkable authority and heartfelt approach has been nothing short of an inspiration.

A specific concept is at play for this new trio affair, we get three of the regular quartet's four members on board (bassist Scott Colley and drummer Jeff Hirshfield) and the program consists exclusively of tunes in the waltz tempo of 3/4 time or 6/8 on occasion. And then leave it to Danko to go for broke by sagaciously choosing eleven tracks that run the gamut from Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz" to Andrew Hill's "Black Fire." Avoiding any monotony that might be suggested by the waltz concept, Danko treats each piece creatively. As a result, Bill Evans' "Turn Out the Stars" appears as a lilting bossa and Monk's "Ruby My Dear" gets its first-ever treatment in three. Abdullah Ibrahim's "Tintiyana" also must be mentioned because it's stately marching tempo and Danko's rapturous solo make it one of disc's finest moments.

As could be expected from a working band, these three men share a musical bond that elevates this set to one of the best piano trio sides in recent memory. Both in support and as a soloist, Scott Colley is quickly becoming a bassist to keep your eyes on with a deep and sonorous sound and quickfire imagination. Danko's style is so much his own that its hard to make the usual comparisons that help to better define a player's approach via the written word. He's at once incendiary on the scorching numbers and movingly introspective on the pretty ballads. In the end, you realize that the possibilities inherent in "three" are more than previously thought imaginable.


Track Listing: Jitterbug Waltz, Tintiyana, Everybody's Song But My Own, Ruby My Dear, Turn Out the Stars, 502 Blues, Little Niles, Black Fire, Valse Hot, Walk On the Water, Blue in Green (68:27)

Personnel: Harold Danko- piano, Scott Colley- bass, Jeff Hirshfield- drums

Title: Three of Four | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: SteepleChase Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Wonderland

Wonderland

SteepleChase Records
2008

buy
 

This Isn't Maybe...

SteepleChase Records
2001

buy
 

Stable Mates

SteepleChase Records
2000

buy
 

Three of Four

SteepleChase Records
1999

buy

Related Articles

Read First Impressions CD/LP/Track Review
First Impressions
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 25, 2018
Read Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two CD/LP/Track Review
Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two
by Chris May
Published: February 25, 2018
Read In Stride CD/LP/Track Review
In Stride
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 25, 2018
Read Osmosis CD/LP/Track Review
Osmosis
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 25, 2018
Read Stax Singles, Vol. 4: Rarities & Best of the Rest CD/LP/Track Review
Stax Singles, Vol. 4: Rarities & Best of the Rest
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 25, 2018
Read You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To CD/LP/Track Review
You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 24, 2018
Read "To the Bone" CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "Forest Grove" CD/LP/Track Review Forest Grove
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 6, 2017
Read "Calvins Toboggan" CD/LP/Track Review Calvins Toboggan
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 16, 2017
Read "Murphy" CD/LP/Track Review Murphy
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 18, 2017
Read "Zero" CD/LP/Track Review Zero
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 6, 2018
Read "Fukushima" CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 1, 2017