Jonathan Crayford/Ben Street/Dan Weiss: Dark Light (Rattle Jazz)

 |   |  1 min read

Crayford/Street/Weiss: Galois' Candle
Jonathan Crayford/Ben Street/Dan Weiss: Dark Light (Rattle Jazz)

Since Auckland's Rattle label signed a deal with Wellington's Victoria University Press (VUP) it has become alarmingly productive.

Albums -- especially those on the Rattle Jazz imprint -- are starting to appear at what seems like one or more a month.

But that's not a complaint because the label's standards are impeccably high, and this piano trio album lead by the multi-faceted Jonathan Crayford (who is at home on Latin music as he is on soundtracks), is a quiet gem, easily amongst the finest in the imprint's extensive catalogue.

At time this errs towards the refined elegance of classical piano (the lovely Rita Finds the Light which is interrupted brilliantly by Dan Weiss' laser sharp drumming) at other times it gets funky (the bright and sprightly opener Skyscraper Scaffold which scuttles around the keyboard and deconstructs various melodies and rolling passages as it goes).

These seven pieces -- the longest at nine-something minutes being the poised but dark and spacious title track -- are full of surprises, astute moments of consideration and quiet (Galois' Candle which is masterpiece of blue understatement) and odd corners (Bikes in Space).

And it is a proper "piano trio album" in which pianist Crayford finds empathetic partners in New Yorkers Ben Street (bass) and Weiss.

If you thought that idiom had been played out then come back for this one. You will be surprised, engrossed, entertained and perhaps even somewhat in awe at what they manage within the format. 

It's early days, but if this isn't New Zealand's jazz album of the year it could only be because the ever-popular Nathan Haines has relelased another album. Or Rattle Jazz pull another such nugget out of the bag.

Your listening really does start here however.

Terrific. 

Share It

Your Comments

Chris - Jul 10, 2014

Haven't heard Dark Light yet but Dog (Roger Manins and co) also released this year on Rattle Jazz is a real winner too. World class, and i don't say that lightly.

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

Fly: Year of the Snake (ECM/Ode)

Fly: Year of the Snake (ECM/Ode)

This sinuous, mysterious, rhythmic and back-to-the-bone album comes from a young trio which has impeccable pedigree. Saxophonist Mark Turner has played with numerous ECM artists (Dave Holland,... > Read more

Vallon, Moret, Rohrer: Rruga (ECM/Ode)

Vallon, Moret, Rohrer: Rruga (ECM/Ode)

This is ECM piano trio jazz certainly, but young pianist/composer Colin Vallon brings something different and unusual to these 11 pieces, most of which are his originals or by drummer Samuel... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Angela's Low-fat Moist Cake which serves 12!

Angela's Low-fat Moist Cake which serves 12!

This is Angela's recipe under the very enticing (and somewhat healthy) title, and one which she says is a New Zealand adaption -- or is that "adaptation"? I've got into this discussion... > Read more

Singapore: Drinking with an angel

Singapore: Drinking with an angel

It's always a pleasure — and sometimes even necessary given the humidity — to just plonk down in one of those cheap street-corner eateries in Singapore and take in the passing parade... > Read more