Half Notes: Art Hirahara – Noble Path (2010)

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Posi-Tone Records delivered a rare new album by NYC-based pianist Art Hirahara in 2010, called Noble Path. “Lyrical” is an adjective I’ve seen ascribed to Hirahara, and it’s one he lives up to on this trio date, his Posi-Tone debut. Though he hadn’t been very prolific leading sessions, Hirahara has been busy on the club circuit since arriving in New York in 2002, and done some sideman dates, including this one for Sarah Manning. For Noble Path, he brought in his working trio with him: Dan Aran on drums and Yoshi Waki on bass. This record tends to be pastoral more often than not, but it has its share of unpredictable moments: “Change Your Look” ambles along slowly when right in the middle of it, the band brings up the pace to a funky, snappy gait, and “Nocturne” flirts with free jazz. The stirring “Peace Unknown” leverages the heavy classical training of Hirahara’s youth. No matter what the leader throws out, the band is able to stay with it, a clear benefit of all those club dates together. With Noble Path, Hirahara found a nice home at Posi-Tone.

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S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron

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