Friday, April 25, 2014

David Hazeltine For All We Know Smoke 2014

For All We Know

A lunch pail pianist with the lyrical soul of poet, David Hazeltine has arrived!

Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com

There are session players and there are leaders and only a handful that can make that seamless transition, David Hazeltine may be the best "unknown" pianist in America. A lofty statement to be sure but when your career begins playing with such luminaries as Sonny Stitt and Chet Baker then if you are not that proverbial musical sponge then you need to find a new line of work. For All We Know shows how this prolific master craftsman can not only work a band but initiate a lyrical chemistry where at any point David Hazeltine can adeptly dictate the musical conversation without monopolizing the musical discussion.

Hazeltine is a harmonic magician whose slight of hand works in perfect harmony with tenor sax titan Seamus Blake. David "Happy" Williams and swinging Joe Farnsworth round out a stellar rhythm section that especially shine on Hazeltine originals "Et Cedera" and the buoyant "Eddie Harris." The standards "My Ship" and the Charlie Parker swinging blues riff on "Cheryl" help tie all the loose ends together nicely. While there are numerous references to Cedar Walton this is as far from a tribute release as you can get but rather a very personal thank you note.

A syncopated swing, shifting dynamics and the innate ability to lead places David Hazeltine at the top of the Big Apple jazz tree of pianists.  For All We Know captures the very essence of the improvisational mecca of the universe. The torch has been passed and David Hazeltine carries it proudly!

Tracks: Et Cedra; My Ship; Pooh; Lord Walton; For All We Know; Eddie Harris; Cheryl; Imagination; A.D. Bossa