Yan Pevzner

State of Mind

Jazzkeys Records USA

Yan Pevzner, piano; Martin Wind, bass; Tony Moreno, drums   

This in-the-tradition release on Jazzkeys showcases yet another very fine new talent, pianist Yan Pevzner.  I Was hoping to hear a few Eastern European folk underpinnings, but Mr.Pevzner's  vocabulary more recalls the light touch and elliptic inventiveness of Richard Beirach -- you may recall he occupied the keyboard chair on the John Abercrombie Quartet's 1980s ECM releases -- but without Beirach's wintry side.  No, Pevzner (here assisted by Martin Wind, acoustic bass, and Tony Moreno, percussion) also has the friendly attitude of Bill Evans and Mike Nock; you are in his metaphoric music room and there's a drink on the piano.  On a coaster, of course.  The title piece recalls "Laura" in its yearning, but from the sound of it, the protagonist is getting over the blues of the situation and beginning to look back on the experience fondly.  Moreno, whose name I've come across before but I don't recall where, does some perfect cymbal taps and short Elvin Jones rolls, at one point during Wind's lively plucking interlude shadowing Pevzner's piano, note for ping, ping for note.  It's just eight bars but it's a nice detail.  I wish the tune's out-coda didn't end so decisively and so quickly but one can't discount the emotion that went into it.  Equally nice touch that the following track "On the Road" works off adjoining chords.  "Vadim" sounds like a ghost of Wayne Shorter theme, one of those which the Miles Davis Quintet might have partially fleshed out around the time of the NEFERTITI album, but no time for more than a moment's delightful stasis, as Moreno gradually drives the tempo up several gears into a buzzing up-tempo workout.  Nice trading of fours too.  Ballad fans will go for the impressionistic "Acknowledge"'s measured and thoughtful melody, against which Moreno gently navigates his floor toms.     It's not just the change ups which make this CD a solid addition to your piano-trio collection; Pevzner and company are a unit with no small mastery of the form.Try this.

by Ken Egbert

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