ART HIRAHARA, NOBLE PATH

For his trio CD, “Noble Path” (Posi-Tone) the Bay area pianist Art Hirahara goes pleasurably old school, with an abundance of catchy, melodic originals. It’s a successful foray into the kind of music that one associates with leaders like Kenny Barron, Cedar Walton or John Hicks, and it’s clear that Hirahara holds a deep respect for musicians that ply the jazz trio tradition. Bassist Yoshi Waki and drummer Dan Aran, both rhythm masters in their own right, provide exemplary support on inspired originals (“Stood Down”) and dazzling covers (“All Or Nothing At All,” Dizzy Gillespie’s “Con Alma.”) Hirahara has a deft technique that memorably crowns his originals and his fleet finger play positively shines on the title track. But you can sense this working group’s own satisfaction when bopping through the changes on Billy Strayhorn’s “Isfahan” or feeling the love from the music on Cole Porter’s “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye.”  (12 tracks; 63:16 minutes)
   

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JAZZ IN SPACE: ART HIRAHARA, NOBLE PATH

Friday, April 29, 2011

ART HIRAHARA, NOBLE PATH

For his trio CD, “Noble Path” (Posi-Tone) the Bay area pianist Art Hirahara goes pleasurably old school, with an abundance of catchy, melodic originals. It’s a successful foray into the kind of music that one associates with leaders like Kenny Barron, Cedar Walton or John Hicks, and it’s clear that Hirahara holds a deep respect for musicians that ply the jazz trio tradition. Bassist Yoshi Waki and drummer Dan Aran, both rhythm masters in their own right, provide exemplary support on inspired originals (“Stood Down”) and dazzling covers (“All Or Nothing At All,” Dizzy Gillespie’s “Con Alma.”) Hirahara has a deft technique that memorably crowns his originals and his fleet finger play positively shines on the title track. But you can sense this working group’s own satisfaction when bopping through the changes on Billy Strayhorn’s “Isfahan” or feeling the love from the music on Cole Porter’s “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye.”  (12 tracks; 63:16 minutes)
   

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