Luis Perdomo, Twenty-Two (Hot Tone Music)
The title observes the number of years since the pianist moved from his native Venezuela to New York City. In that time Perdomo has established a musical personality apart from the influential leaders for whom he has workedRay Barretto, Ravi Coltrane, Miguel Zenon, Brian Lynch among them. His early studies in New York with pianists Roland Hanna and Harold Danko, powerful teachers and examples, emphasized the importance of developing an individual voice. As he demonstrated in his 2010 album with bassist Drew Gress and drummer Jack DeJohnette, Perdomo has a gift for harnessing a trio to single-mindedness in pursuit of his vision. In this case, his colleagues are bassist Mimi Jones and drummer Rudy Royston.
Royston does not merely accompany but listens, reacts, and integrates his ideas into the communal effort. Nonetheless, he doesn’t flinch from an opportunity to solo with power and at length on “The Old City” and more briefly but with no less energy on “Brand New Grays.” Jones brings incisiveness of tone and powerful swing that complement Perdomo’s own time feel combining relaxation and power. The pianist’s Chopinesque unaccompanied opening moments of “Love Tone Poem” typify his keyboard approach. His integration of Jones and Royston into the piece demonstrate his concept of the trio’s music as the product of minds intermingling. Employing electric piano on five of the tracks, Perdomo creates an almost horn-like flow of melodic line, particularly on the stirring “Cota Mil.” Still, the clarity of his playing on the acoustic piano, with every note distinct, is welcome after a couple of tracks of the Fender-Rhodes. Perdomo composed all of the album’s 12 pieces, except “How Deep is Your Love” by the Bee Gees. Despite the lightweight source material, he lifts that performance to the level of the rest of this intriguing album.
We Float, Silence (Havtorn)
As noted in the Rifftides wrapup report on last summer’s Ystad Sweden Jazz Festival, the quartet called We Float wafts between jazz and pop. The harmonic partnership of leader Anne Marte Eggen’s electric bass and Fanny Gunnarsson’s piano, buoyed by Flip Bensefelt’s crisp drumming, puts the band in the jazz column often enough to keep the music from slipping into mere ambience. The band’s substance is notable in Ms. Eggen’s “Echolation,” which employs repetition to build tension before its fade ending. With clarity and trueness of pitch, Linda Bergström’s voice is effective as the lead instrument, notably so on “Echolation” and “Silence.” The album’s sound quality is excellent.
More Recent Listening coming soon, maybe even tomorrow.