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

MORE CAPITAL iiiiDEAS  (2016): Live and direct from Aotearoa

MORE CAPITAL iiiiDEAS (2016): Live and direct from Aotearoa

Although jazz can give the impression of being a one-take music (the performer simultaneously the composer and improvising on the spot), it's often much more considered than that. Witness the... > Read more

WAYNE SHORTER ON THE FRONTLINE AGAIN: The Grammy-magnet

WAYNE SHORTER ON THE FRONTLINE AGAIN: The Grammy-magnet

When my eldest son bought a one-way ticket to London and packed his bag, he brought over three boxes of vinyl for me to store. Over the weeks I picked my way through this eclectic treasure trove... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . MAL EVANS: In the court of the kings

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . MAL EVANS: In the court of the kings

In January 1976 when the four LA police were called to a disturbance in a motel they were confronted by a huge, semi-naked man who was angry, seemingly high and out of control . . . and carrying... > Read more

JANIS JOPLIN CONSIDERED (2011): Singing out the painful sparks within

JANIS JOPLIN CONSIDERED (2011): Singing out the painful sparks within

Of all those admitted to that illustrious pantheon of Dead Sixties Rock Stars, Janis Joplin has been the one least well served. Jimi is revered and regularly remarketed; and Jim has his... > Read more