Pirouet Records/ Release Date: April 1, 2008
Bill Stewart - Drums
Larry Goldings -Hammond Organ, Accordion
Kevin Hays - Piano
Drummer/Composer Bill Stewart releases new CD
Incandescence" (PIT3028) on Pirouet Records
One set of drums and two sets of keyboards - that's a combination with a lot of possibilities. A unique music in which each piece presents a new challenge. Here are three musicians who are on the case, with a commitment that is palpable. Every bar shines with a pulsating iridescence. A Trio for lovers of a jazzy broadening of horizons.
The Light Over the Horizon:
Incandescence": exciting trio explorations from drummer Bill Stewart, organist Larry Goldings, and pianist Kevin Hays
This trio is remarkable in many ways. For one thing, there is the unusual instrumentation: drums, Hammond organ, and piano - an adventurous combination full of possibilities. For another there are the musical personalities: Drummer Bill Stewart, organist Larry Goldings, and pianist Kevin Hays. All three are highly regarded American musicians born in the late 60's, and are now around 40 years of age. Each has developed his own strong musical personality. And there is a third aspect that comes into focus when these sharply contoured profiles coalesce: a unique music in which each piece presents a new challenge. This music is a playing field for continually new discoveries right on through the ninth and last track of the CD. And it is on this field that Bill Stewart celebrates his debut with Pirouet.
Incandescence" is the name of this CD, and also the title of the last piece; it is also what this trio personifies. It is everything the word implies: brilliant, lucid, intense, red-hot; such words fit to a music that places maximum value on identification and expressive desire. Here are three musicians who are on the case, with a commitment that is palpable. Every bar shines with a pulsating iridescence. And therein lies the intrinsic meaning of Incandescence" in relation to this group; this music has its own aura -it radiates- it doesn't keep its distance - it directly comes out to the listener.
None of this is surprising when you know something more about the musical backgrounds of these three musicians. Bill Stewart was born in 1966 in Des Moines, Iowa. As bandleader his recordings have been incredibly diverse. Among others, he has had especially close ties to saxophonist Joe Lovano, bassist Dave Holland, and pianist Marc Cohen. Stewart's musical breadth becomes clear when you know that he is a long time member of jazz guitar great John Scofield's group, and works with funk saxophonist Maceo Parker. It was through Parker that Stewart came to play in concert with soul icon James Brown.
Kevin Hays was born in 1968 in New York City and grew up in Greenwich Connecticut. By the time he was 17 he was already playing piano with baritone saxophonist Nick Brignola. He has worked with such major figures as Pat Metheny, Ron Carter, and Sonny Rollins. Hays is an innovator with a brilliant feeling for in-the-pocket swing, a free spirit who loves to experiment. Larry Goldings was born in 1968 in Boston. He is one of the best-known Hammond B3 organ players on the current scene -a declared specialist for the smooth, hissing tone of this monster, no matter whether the context is Maceo Parker's raven-black funk, or the subtly communicative trio exchange with Jack DeJohnette and John Scofield.
Trading off on the traditional organ-guitar-drum trio, Bill Stewart chose to replace guitar with piano. One set of drums and two sets of keyboards - that's a combination with a lot of possibilities. It has energy and groove, as in knock on my door." It's cool and serene, as in toad." It is intricately effervescent, as in four hand job." It is cunning in the way it handles the themes, as in tell a televangelist"; the title alone smacks of put on and betrayal. It is full of mystery as it sounds out the musical space with flowing rhythms as in metallurgy" and incandescence." It is subtly lyrical and ingeniously flexible, as in portals opening," and explosively propulsive as in the neighboring piece, opening portals." And... this combination performs a remarkable metamorphoses on see ya", a piece that sits smack-dab in the middle of the CD; Larry Goldings switches to accordion, and suddenly the trio's sound is reflected in a completely different light.
Bill Stewart has written all the compositions on this CD. And the pieces fit this trio like a kid glove. Each musician displays his many musical colors, and each musician can tap his full potential. And yet this music is cast in the same mold, shaped by the devilishly clever play of musicians whose performance is marked by tightly interlocking co-operation. Every bar has an organic feel to it. These are explorative musical flights through the most diverse soundscapes ventured by three virtuosos -and you can sense how compatible these discoverers are. These are adventures in sound traveled by three musicians who play with desire and competence as they go directly to the meat of the matter. A trio for lovers of a jazzy broadening of horizons. Horizons that radiate and glow: incandescence!
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