Chick Corea/Eddie Gomez/Paul Motian: Further Explorations (Concord Jazz): Bill Evans deserves all the tributes he will ever get, but there may never be one more extraordinary than this one. Basing a series of shows on the late great pianist’s Explorations album, this pedigreed trio also uncovers and embellishes an unreleased track with all the consummate imagination upon which their reputations rest. Corea’s acoustic piano work is such that most listeners might hope he never touches an electric instrument again, particularly if he partners with musicians anywhere near as brilliant as these two.
Erik Deutsch: Demonio Teclado (Hammer & String Records): A veritable panoply of colors and textures unfold during the course of this CD, but keyboardist Deutsch and his musical comrades take their time on each cut. In addition, the tracks sequenced in a comparably leisurely pace, so that whether the number features electric piano, trumpet, electric guitar or the rhythm section, there’s no sense of hurry. As such, the cryptically- titled album compels leisurely but focused listening.
Luis Perdomo: Universal Mind (RKM): Pianist Perdomo is such a bright lively improviser, it only stands to reason he would pair so brilliantly with percussionist Jack DeJohnette. The two are in constant motion throughout this recording, dancing around each other as well as the melodies and rhythms at the heart of the material, most of it originals by Perdomo. Like the latter a veteran of Ravi Coltrane’s band, bassist Drew Gress staunchly holds down the bottom, his presence more felt than heard and he ends up being all the more prominent precisely because he understates his role.
Sam Yahel: From Sun to Sun (Origin): Alternating his idiosyncratic style between organ and (primarily) piano, Yahel creates music here (with bassist Matt Penman and drummer Jochen Rueckert) that slowly but surely draws in a listener. Whether they assume an approach that’s laconic or lively, nothing flashy arises here from the trio’s musicianship (or the material for that matter). Nevertheless, the instrumental conversations display flashes of clarity that crystallize the tunes and ultimately render From Sun to Sun an accessible piece of work. And, because its immediacy is so seductive, the album should also evince some durability.
Alan Pasqua: Twin Bill (BFM Jazz): Yet another tribute to Bill Evans, Alan Pasqua’s wittily-titled solo album obliquely references the Conversations albums on which the iconic pianist dueted with himself through the magic of overdubbing. An earthy musician himself, Pasqua isn’t the marvelously imaginative player Evans was, but here he exerts tremendous effort to match the complementary approach of the original concept and manages to pull it off in such a way, he tempts favorable comparisons.