Jan 20 2015
For what amounts to a straight-ahead modern piano trio recording, The Now doesn’t exactly come packaged in a neat bundle. But considering that the inspiration for the newest from pianist Aaron Goldberg is a respect and appreciation for the transitory nature of improvisational creativity and the need to exist in the present moment to best express it, this relative lack of cohesion may not only be intentional, but also necessary. With his longtime trio of bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland at his side, Goldberg carves out a set of tunes that share some common bonds, but stand alone, each to themselves.
Album-opener “Trocando em Miudos” is absolutely resonant. It expresses itself patiently and peacefully and emanates a powerful warmth from within. It’s one of three Brazilian compositions on the album, and Goldberg gives each its own voice.
The simmering “Triste Bahia da Guanabara” and the introspective “Wind in the Night” show that the sublime can take many forms. “E-Land” gets back to the resonance of the opener, but kicks up the tempo a bit. This, along with slow boil of Toninho Horta’s “Francisca,” are emblematic of they way Goldberg keeps switching things up to make what might have been common stand completely apart.
The upbeat “Yoyo” is all about the sunny attitude. Goldberg’s renditions of Charlie Parker’s “Perhaps” and Konitz/Marsh’s “Background Music” honor the originals with chipper tempos and a melodic playfulness, while also drawing emphasis to the individual motions of each that speak to the heart of the matter. The exciting “One’s a Crowd” keeps the pulse rate up and finds a way to express both structural composure and improvisational effusiveness.
The album ends with the somber “One Life.” Guest Kurt Rosenwinkel brings that same potent mix of melancholy and combustion that lent so much personality to his involvement with the Brian Blade Fellowship. It’s an evocative way to end an album that doesn’t limit the ways it chooses to express itself.
Your album personnel: Aaron Goldberg (piano), Reuben Rogers (bass), Eric Harland (drums) and guest: Kurt Rosenwinkel (guitar).
Released on Sunnyside Records.
Jazz from NYC.