Gabriel Latchin Trio: Viewpoint

London-based pianist and trio swing with conviction through tributes to Nat Cole, Cedar Walton, Ahmad Jamal, Herbie Hancock and others

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London-born pianist and composer Latchin was introduced to jazz piano at an early age by his grandmother. After completing a degree in economics at Edinburgh University he furthered his piano skills on the Edinburgh jazz scene before returning to London to study piano at the Guildhall. He became a first-call sideman playing with the likes of Roy Hargrove, Ronnie Cuber, Jean Toussaint, Jason Marsalis and recently Christian McBride.

His debut album as a band leader, Introducing Gabriel Latchin Trio, was recorded in 2014. It was followed by The Moon And I in 2018 and I’ll Be Home For Christmas in 2020. For Latchin’s fourth album, Viewpoint, he’s recruited two “new” trio partners – top UK bassist Jeremy Brown and acclaimed New York drummer, Joe Farnsworth.

Brown played in the Peter King Quartet for 10 years and has worked with Stan Tracey, Bill Le Sage, Johnny Griffin, Art Farmer and Brad Mehldau amongst many others. Farnsworth’s extensive career includes work with Horace Silver, Harold Mabern, McCoy Tyner, Cedar Walton and Barry Harris, to name just a few.

All 11 compositions on Viewpoint were written and arranged by Latchin. The trio delivers them in swinging, straight-ahead style, with Latchin’s influences from the jazz piano greats sprinkled throughout the album. The bebop opener, Say’s Who?, is inspired by Gershwin’s But Not for Me. A Mother’s Love is a vibrant ballad written for Latchin’s second son two days after he was born. It recalls Nat King Cole. Meanwhile, his daughter, nicknamed Primrose, is represented by the song Prim And Proper.

The lively Mr Walton is a tribute to Cedar Walton, reflecting his importance in Latchin’s development as a player. O Mito (Spanish for “the legend”) is a jaunty tribute to João Gilberto while Train Of Thought and Rest And Be Thankful both recall Ahmad Jamal. The former also has hints of Herbie Hancock and the ruminative closing track, A Song For Herbie, is entirely dedicated to him.

The sound quality of the CD is crystalline. Interplay between each trio member as they improvise and interpret the songs is wholly absorbing and the succinctness and clarity of the playing is superb.

Discography
Say’s Who?; Prim And Proper; A Mother’s Love; Train Of Thought; A Stitch In Time; Bird In The Hand; O Mito; Mr Walton; Rest And Be Thankful; Just The Ticket; A Song For Herbie (56.53)
Latchin (p); Jeremy Brown (b); Joe Farnsworth (d). London, 5 May 2022.
Alys Jazz AJ1504