Half Notes: Ted Rosenthal Trio – Out Of This World (2011)

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photo courtesy of Playscape Recordings


A mainstream jazz pianist leading a trio through a set of tunes out of the Great American Songbook doesn’t signal that the record is going to set the jazz world on fire with a cutting edge material and indeed, Out Of This World by the Ted Rosenthal Trio doesn’t deliver that kind of music. Still, it’s pleasing to hear Rosenthal apply his own treatments to these songs, which include unusual time signatures and prominent bass counterpoints. Moreover, Rosenthal (the winner of the Thelonious Monk piano competition in 1988), is perhaps one of the few pianists of his generation who adapts the stylings of masters who emerged in 50s, like Hampton Hawes, Ahmad Jamal and Red Garland over that of Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea. His sprightly rendition of “Have You Met Miss Jones,” in fact seems of have Garland’s light, dancing touch down pat, and there’s a strong blues feeling throughout the record, especially on “Gershwin Prelude #2.” So no, Out Of This World doesn’t light new fires, but does a fine job keeping some old flames going.

Out Of This World goes on sale October 4, by Playscape Recordings.

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‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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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