If James Brown was the busiest man in show business the smart money goes on Noah Haidu coming in a close second. Sitting in with numerous Post-Tone acts and the band Native Soul just begin to scratch the surface of a cross between McCoy Tyner and Horace Silver. Haidu can bang out a melody with the best of them but play with the artful finesse of a Silver or a Herbie Hancock while barely breaking a sweat.
Momentum which is due to street in just a few short weeks is a trio with an incredibly lyrical bassist on the scene and of course McClenty Hunter who along with Haidu are my musical easy buttons. I am not as familiar with de la Portilla on bass but soon will be. Changing meter and harmonics all under the watch full eye of Haidu they work hand in glove and hopefully this is the start of a working trio. Variety is the spice of life, holds true in music too with Haidu knocking out Jimmy Van Heusen, Keith Jarrett and Joe Henderson and all on equal footing.
I have noticed an odd occurrence, each year there seems to be one song recorded by everyone. This year the song happens to be my favorite "I Thought About You." Thanks to a medical condition my playing days are over, I am still on the edge of my seat wondering will the slay it or will the tune crash and burn before the first change, Haido is money, no worries here. A deceptively subtle swing, dynamic tension from dabbling in a little odd meter and the uniformity of a trio that easily bears my motto, "Swing hard or go home." Another favorite from Thad Jones, A Child Is Born has a deep harmonic base with the dynamic tension that occurs when a major even happens in any life time. The reharms here are sublime. "Groove Interlude" is a Haidu original and both Haidu and the trio are on point every step of the way. Syncopated swing and Haidu and the boys welcome you to the land of rhythm of groove.
Being a critic is far more than being critical. I try and approach each release as a story within itself with ideal the artist leading the way. More often than not that is a naive approach, Noah Haidu is accessible, intelligent and a master at his art. Critics are human, we have biases like everyone else. Recently a massive recording conglomerate lost their two best stars to the same label. I mention this for the way I was treated. Both Posi-Tone and their artists go out of their way to make my gig as easy as possible. It's always better to work with someone than against them, you don't tug on superman's cape and you don't spit into the wind. I have a few areas of expertise, these are some.
There is simply nothing negative to say in regards to momentum.
Personnel: Noah Haidu: piano; Ariel de la Portilla: bass; McClenty Hunter: drums