If all the new tricksy piano trios – you know the ones, they shift time signature every other bar, they imitate loops and stuck CDs, they wear skinny jeans – are proving a little exhausting and you long for a more “in the classic tradition” approach, then do try this San Franciscan relocated to Brooklyn.
Hirahara has sometime Dave Douglas sidewoman Linda Oh on bass and John Davis on drums for this 11-track exploration of where he’s currently at. At times it is “in the classic tradition” – the opener With Two Ice Cubes or the solo The Looking Glass, for example; at others the band gets more abstract and free – the opening of Bop Bim Be – while when Hirahara chooses a tune he hasn’t composed it’s either the unmistakeable cool groove of Bill Evans’ Only Child or the gentle, folky anthem of Kosaku Yamada’s Karatachi No Hana.
It’s a wide-ranging yet cohesive programme from this solid student of the jazz tradition and practitioner of the jazz present.
Categories: CD review