East Coast pianist Roberta Piket is creating an impressive catalogue via a variety of environs. Her own piano releases are noteworthy, other times she’s a sideman (Sidewoman? Sideperson? Sidepianist?) for a mix of small ensembles, and here she shows her talents in producing an intriguing album. Listen up!
Drummer Billy Mintz brings together two, count ‘em, two bassists in Masa Kamaguchi and Cameron Brown for this horn ensemble. Yes, there are brass players in Dave Scott/tp, Ron Horton/tp, Brian Drye/tb and Samuel Blaser/tb, but they don’t overwhelm the fewer saxes here. John O’Gallagher/as-ss, Kenny Berger/bs-as and Adam Kolker/ts-ss create rich ensembles on “ Beautiful You” and form a choir on “ Dit” while the brass groans with exciting percussion on “Darkland.” The two basses are justified, as the ghost of Charles Mingus pops up in terms of inspiration of mood and attitude. Bass work is featured on “Bass Thing” while “Ghost Sanctuary” features some sparks from the rhythm steam while the horns combust spontaneously here and on the free form “Shmear.” The marrow of blues brings the red blood cells all throughout, even while bass and drums get rambunctious on “Flight.” A definite Mingus is among us.
Piket’s album is a solo piece, and her Mal Waldron-esque tone and touch is both nimble and reflective. She gives dark hues to “Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise” and uses space well on the pensive “ Haunted Heart.” Her own pieces “Saying Goodbye” and “Emanation” give a tip of the hand to French Impressionists such as Eric Satie, with a mix of light and inquisitiveness. She adds some rococo touches to “All The Things You Are” and shows her playful side on Thelonious Monk’s “Ba Lue Bolivar Ba Lues” while her strong left hand impresses on “Con Alma.” Solo albums give away the heart of an artist, and this release displays one worth knowing well and deeper.
13 th Note Records