Noah Haidu: Standards

Paying undemonstrative but solid tribute to Keith Jarrett's standards trio, pianist Haidu shows the songbook repertoire is in safe hands

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In January 1983, Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette went into the Power Station recording studio in New York and recorded 11 standards and three Jarrett-inspired improvisations. And so was born the phenomenally successful Standards Trio, whose 40th anniversary and 21 albums are celebrated in this fine tribute from pianist Noah Haidu.

Suitably, all the compositions here are standards, many previously recorded by Jarrett’s trio, with the two concluding and impressive Last Dances written by the leader.

Haidu is an undemonstrative player, willing to let the tunes speak for themselves without too much embellishment. Old Folks is taken at a leisurely stroll, as is Doug Khan’s rarely heard Beautiful Friendship, while All The Way is more dependent on group interaction than the piano’s lead voice for its quiet intensity. Haidu adds more bounce to Just In Time, and flourishes on Someday My Prince Will Come and an uptempo You And The Night And The Music, but is best heard on the unaccompanied Skylark, where he thoughtfully brings out the many nuances of the theme.

Throughout, Haidu is well supported by either Buster Williams or Pete Washington on bass and an ever-consistent Lewis Nash on drums. Steve Wilson joins the trio on alto sax for four tracks, his full tone adding more depth and feeling. The world is crowded with jazz trios at the moment, but the future of playing standards is certainly safe in Haidu’s hands.

Discography
Old Folks; Just In Time; Beautiful Friendship; All The Way; Someday My Prince Will Come; You And The Night And The Music; Ana Maria; Skylark; Thought About You; Last Dance I; Last Dance II (56.28)
Haidu (p); Steve Wilson (as); Buster Williams, Peter Washington (b); Lewis Nash (d). New York City, 10, 13 March 2023.
Sunnyside Records SSC1705