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171

Aaron Goldberg: Unfolding

Jim Santella By

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Impressionism drives the jazz piano trio. Aren't we all storytellers? Listeners' interpretations can vary, and that's what makes art special. Just let yourself go.

On his second recording as leader, Aaron Goldberg unfolds seven original stories and two classic pieces. His trio works in close proximity, with an intuitive feel. There's a fair amount of freedom for each artist. Bass and drums provide independent lines that complement the pianist's thoughts. Goldberg, 27, shares a thorough understanding of the blues, Latin rhythms, harmonic placement, and woodshedding keyboard mastery. And he swings! Before studying with Betty Carter, the pianist graduated magna cum laude from Harvard with a degree in History and Science. His concentration was in Mind, Brain, and Behavior.

John Coltrane's "Equinox" opens with a dreamy landscape that allows plenty of space for the trio to reflect. Gradually, they move into open territory with a cool drive. All three contribute fresh interpretations. Like most of the session, this one ebbs and flows through changing moods. Goldberg's originals paint placid scenes that contain little ripples here and there. "MAO's Blues" is a tribute to friendsMarcandOmer, a bassist and a drummer. "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" takes off with restrained passion. It's a quiet album, full of introspection, and free enough to allow your thoughts to follow their own course.

Track Listing: Sea Shantey; Isabella Meets Wally; If and Only If; You Are the Sunshine of My Life; 'Todd's Dream; PB and J; MAO's Blues; Second Chance; Equinox.

Personnel: Aaron Goldberg: piano; Reuben Rogers: bass; Eric Harland: drums.

Title: Unfolding | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: J Curve Records

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