AARON GOLDBERG, ALI JACKSON, OMER AVITAL, YES!

Pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Omer Avital and drummer Ali Jackson prove that there’s nothing wrong with making music that’s winningly soulful and plainly beautiful. They get right to it on this date recorded in December 2009, with Abdullah Ibrahim’s “Maraba Blue,” a loping blues with soul-jazz flavor and a gospel lilt that’s leavened with warm, plump bass notes and Goldberg’s sure touch. The title tune bounces with the sureness of Oscar Peterson in his prime while others like the joyful, loose-limbed “Aziel’s Dance” and a cover of Monk’s “Epistrophy” are enriched by the snap and pop of Jackson’s timekeeping. It don’t mean a thing without two Ellington tunes. The trio maps out Mercer Ellington’s bouncing “Way Way Back” and Duke’s feisty “The Shepherd” with their compelling interplay that Goldberg takes to a higher plane on the latter with his brilliant keyboard runs and sparkling solos. The recording sheds light on Goldberg’s improvisational dexterity and he’s the catalyst for this music sounding so complete and heartfelt. Matched with Avital and Jackson, they collectively make “Yes!” a perfect date that’s pretty and smart. (9 tracks; 63:37 minutes)

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JAZZ IN SPACE: AARON GOLDBERG, ALI JACKSON, OMER AVITAL, YES!

Friday, February 24, 2012

AARON GOLDBERG, ALI JACKSON, OMER AVITAL, YES!

Pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Omer Avital and drummer Ali Jackson prove that there’s nothing wrong with making music that’s winningly soulful and plainly beautiful. They get right to it on this date recorded in December 2009, with Abdullah Ibrahim’s “Maraba Blue,” a loping blues with soul-jazz flavor and a gospel lilt that’s leavened with warm, plump bass notes and Goldberg’s sure touch. The title tune bounces with the sureness of Oscar Peterson in his prime while others like the joyful, loose-limbed “Aziel’s Dance” and a cover of Monk’s “Epistrophy” are enriched by the snap and pop of Jackson’s timekeeping. It don’t mean a thing without two Ellington tunes. The trio maps out Mercer Ellington’s bouncing “Way Way Back” and Duke’s feisty “The Shepherd” with their compelling interplay that Goldberg takes to a higher plane on the latter with his brilliant keyboard runs and sparkling solos. The recording sheds light on Goldberg’s improvisational dexterity and he’s the catalyst for this music sounding so complete and heartfelt. Matched with Avital and Jackson, they collectively make “Yes!” a perfect date that’s pretty and smart. (9 tracks; 63:37 minutes)

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