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Greg Reitan

Daybreak

(Sunnyside; US: 13 Sep 2011)

As a jazz pianist, Greg Reitan put everything that’s elegant about piano trios on full display for his latest album Daybreak. As an artist or craftsman, Reitan leads his combo—Jack Daro on bass and Dean Koba on drums—through a consistent set of tunes where the originals and the standards subtly, strangely, share a kinship. Of course, the term “consistent” is often a nicer way of saying that nothing really stands out from the pack. It’s not for lack of trying, though, because Reitan casts his net as wide as he can by covering J.J. Johnson, Miles Davis, Billy Strayhorn, Wayne Shorter, and Vince Guaraldi (“The Great Pumpkin Waltz”, just in time for Halloween). And the gently-articulated melancholy of the first three tracks does live up to the aforementioned elegance, especially with a reading of “Monk’s Mood” that could be moodier than the original. It’s just that Daybreak‘s aversion to making waves of any kind makes itself known early on in the album and never really lets up.

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