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

Jonas Kullhammar Quartet: Lat Det Vara (moserobie.com)

Jonas Kullhammar Quartet: Lat Det Vara (moserobie.com)

I cannot tell a lie, I bought this for the cover when I spotted it in a record store in the old town of Stockholm . . . but am delighted I did. At the time I didn't even know it was a jazz... > Read more

Neil Cowley Trio: Touch and Flee (Naim/Southbound)

Neil Cowley Trio: Touch and Flee (Naim/Southbound)

Among the many reasons to pay attention to, and respect, British pianist Cowley is this: a few years back for a tribute record to the Beatles' "White Album" he did a version of . . . .... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Dublin, Ireland: Hold your hour and have another

Dublin, Ireland: Hold your hour and have another

The black and white image of the man on the small television screen looks like something from a remote world of more than a century ago: wearing a white shirt, braces to hold up wide flannel... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITERS' QUESTIONNAIRE: Mel Parsons

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITERS' QUESTIONNAIRE: Mel Parsons

As must be obvious to any longtime readers of Elsewhere, Mel Parsons has always been one of our favourite New Zealand songwriters. We have written favourably about her albums, interviewed her... > Read more