Henry Hey's name may be unfamiliar to somehe is more of a collaborator than a headline hogbut a good percentage of us have heard his music. He played piano for Rod Stewart during the singer's Great American Songbook phase, and he contributed to David Bowie's 2013 comeback album, The Next Day (Columbia Records), served as musical director for George Michael and has co-written songs for Australian electronics music duo Empire of the Sun. And throw in some soundtracks for popular films and commercials.
If that pared-down resume does not suggest a jazz pedigree, his Trio: Ri-Metos does. It is a piano trio outing featuring several Hey originals, some tunes from his trio matesbassist Joe Martin's "Etoile" and drummer Jochen Rueckert's "Weekly Benefits," the Great American Songbook gem "If I Should Lose You" and a couple of iconic composer Vince Mendoza's previously unrecorded originals.
The disc's title, Trio: Ri-Metos refers to navigational stick charts (featured on the album's cover art) used historically (as early as 2000 B.C.) by Marshall Islanders to determine ocean depths during their sea voyages via the direction, reflection and, refraction of waves. How that is reflected in Hey's musical journey is something of a mystery. Hey speaks of creating art that is meaningful to him, trusting his passion while navigating---in these strange timesunseen moods and movements stirred up by deceit and malevolence.
A question that comes to mind concerning an artist who has spent so much time working in the world of popular music. How serious is he about this sidestep into jazz? Serious? Trio: Ri-Metos says "very." The cohesive set features a quirky atmosphere; this is not cookie-cutter piano trio stuff. It has personality, with a well-integrated trio dynamic and assertive three-way give and take. Hey's trio creates music that is by turns playful and serious, vibrant and laid back, and always intelligent.
Season Of The Thicket; Etoile; Cobalt; Post Road; Weekly Benefits; Swirl; If I Should Lose You;
Live By Love; The Wandering Song; The Gardener.
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