ZZCD 9817 – Undiminished
David Gordon Trio
AMG EXPERT REVIEW
British pianist David Gordon’s second trio date for Zah Zah is as impressive as his recording debut. Joined once again by bassist Ole Rasmussen and drummer Paul Cavaciuti, the trio explores a refreshing mix of potent originals and time-tested standards. Gordon’s opener “Bluesli” is primarily a post bop vehicle that confounds listeners with its sudden changes in tempo and direction. The exciting “Dozen a Day” was actually inspired by Gordon’s going over some piano exercises, while Cavaciuti composed the slightly wistful “Waltz for J”. The trio’s interpretations of well known warhorses is very fresh. “My Romance” is an excellent feature for Rasmussen, while the jaunty take of “Caravan” is far more playful than one would expect. “Just One of Those Things” showcases the drummer’s crisp brushwork in a tribute to Gene Krupa. The mix of island rhythms, bop and swing make “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing” self-explanatory. Highly recommended!
Jazz Rag July/August 2000 issue
From its opening moments, this release (the second by the trio) sets a creative pace which barely lets up throughout its considerable duration. Gordon’s original Bluesli goes like a train, buoyed up on Ole Rasmussen’s impactive bass and the energetic clatterings of drummer Paul Cavaciutti. Much is made in the notes of the trio’s four-year working association, although the fact that Gordon lives in London, Rasmussen in Denmark and Cavaciutti in the US, must make their gigs seem more like family reunions.
Anyway, perhaps these dislocations mean that their encounters are all the more meaningful, for they certainly play with animation and enthusiasm here. I’ve heard Gordon a couple of times in London, enough to realise that he is
yet another talent of real worth, fit to be ranked alongside other newer voices like, say, John Donaldson or Tom Cawley. He can suggest the delicacy of Bill Evans on a tune like My Romance, all filigree patterns but with a percussive undertow, before setting off on a couple of tricksy originals, sounding like Wynton Kelly at speed. Caravan receives interesting treatment, Gordon interpolating moments of stride piano before Rasmussen takes his chance to show that NHOP isn’t the only great Dane when it comes to the bass. Gordon then impresses on a sensitive treatment of Sometimes it Snows in April before the trio romp merrily through Just One Of Those Things. If your tastes run to trio jazz, with an emphasis on sterling individuality and well considered treatments of standards and originals, then this is the one for you. Recommended.