Born to play the piano. An effortless style brimming with elegance and the subtlety of swing that while has it has never gone out of style, it has in fact gone through some noticeable transformations thanks largely in part to the harmonic work of one Bill Evans. Ehud Asherie has his own set of influences that seem to guide his lyrical path including performers such as Art Tatum, Hank Jones and perhaps some Bud Powell tossed in for extra pop. Asherie may be one of the finest examples of on the job jazz training as his formative years making a name for himself have been spent performing with those on that first call list that make up the jazz mecca of New York City. Most recently Asherie has been playing a great deal with tenor legend Harry Allen but has also released an organ work showcasing his ability to swing and work with virtually any ensemble based on experience, expertise and an innate gift of swing.
Swing Set includes the classic "Lonesome Road" that I first heard while watching the old Andy Griffith show. The classic "Since I Fell For You" has a deceptively subtle blues infusion adding lyrical depth to a tune that needs precious little. Subtle nuances are provided by bassist Neal Miner and Phil Stewart on drums as the tune begins to take on an organic blues feel with shifting harmonics but done with an elegant charm without every boarding on the self indulgent. "Everything I've Got" is another standard punctuated with a syncopated articulation while the tempo is not altered as much as the basic melody goes through a slight reharmonization but done so without mangling the original. Neal MineR contributes a first rate lyrical bass solo and this might be the high water mark for a trio whose musical cohesion knows no real bounds. A rare find.
Musical frames of reference are always a tad dangerous but Asherie simply sounds like himself. I found myself coming up with a list of possible names but the bottom line is when you listen closely, one can see Asherie is that cultural byproduct of his own experience that I have often talked about. For a standard piano trio we find the zen like less is more approach on virtually every tune. Brevity combined with a distinct lyrical sense of forward motion finds Asherie as a pianist to still keep an eye on. I enjoy going back in time and doing the occasional then and now piece. In 2008 we find Asherie becoming an artist who is comfortable with who he is and where he is going. Now we find Asherie as one of the hottest names on the scene today.
A magnificent collection of a piano trio that pushes the music and not the ego forward!
Tracks: You And Me; Lonesome Road; Samba De Gringo; Slip 'N Slide; Since I Fell For You; Lush Life; A Quick One; Everything I've Got; Pie-Eyed Blues; Porter's Love Song.
Personnel: Euhud Asherie: piano; Neal Miner: bass; Phil Stewart: drums