Album review. A major new talent that can take trio based jazz forward in the next twenty years
Recorded: September/October 2009 at Concept II Studios, Los Angeles
Release date: January 12th 2010
Availability: CD, MP3 Download
Notable influences on Greg Reitan's piano laying are Danny Zeitlin and Keith Jarrett but here it is certainly necessary to add another – Bill Evans. In a sense that's a little unfair since just about all jazz piano players these days owe a large debt to Bill Evans' voicings that opened up the space for bass and the wonderfully expressive touch of the master. But, moving on from his late (age 35) debut 'Some Other Time' in 2009 where the Zeitlin and Jarrett influences were apparent and acknowledged, Greg Reitan really does sound like Bill Evans this time. Listen, for example to his take in piano trio format on Wayne Shorter's 'Fall'; this is just the way that Bill Evans would have played it.
That's no bad thing. Dave Douglas, acknowledging his debt to Miles Davis says: '…when someone says I'm influenced by Miles Davis I'm flattered. But aren't we all influenced? Anyone involved in American music has to at some point deal with the language of jazz and who could be more central to the modern vision of the music?' Very much the same can, and should, be said about Greg Reitan and Bill Evans.
Photo credit: Kelly Barrie
Greg Reitan plays the Bill Evans composition "Re: A Person I Knew," the title of which, as we know, is an anagram of the name of his long time producer, Orrin Keepnews. As Greg Reitan states: 'The liner notes for Antibes were written by my good friend Orrin Keepnews.' Bill Evans is everywhere on this album. 'Waltz For Meredith' could be Greg Reitan's 'Waltz For Debby' shaped via Bill Evans' take on 'My Foolish Heart'.
Jack Daro's fine acoustic bass playing is well and truly in the mould of Scott LaFaro and Marc Johnson. And Dean Koba's drumming is wholly appropriate to the Bill Evans mindset.
In this context, the Danny Zeitlin acknowledgment continues with a version of "Time Remembers One Time Once", as does the acknowledgment of Keith Jarrett with a version of 'Sympathy'.
Add to this the fact that Greg Reitan states that he was listening to Glenn Gould playing J S Bach as he composed the originals 'Antibes', 'September, 'Late Summer Variation' and 'Salinas', and you have an album that is as long on influences as it is on achievement.
Because this is a superb album, one where the playing transcends these many influences. You really do get the sense that a major new talent that can take trio based jazz forward in the next twenty years is finally making its way up towards the light, emerging with a life force all of its own.
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