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June 21st, 2021

Kevin Hays, Ben Street & Billy Hart – All Things Are (Smoke Sessions)

Recorded at a closed Smoke in New York City during the lockdown in 2020, All Things Are is the new album from pianist Kevin Hays, bassist Ben Street and drummer Billy Hart. Together, they run through a program comprised mostly of Hays’ original material, with the sole outlier being the standard “For Heaven’s Sake.” Maybe it’s just me, but these three really sound like the Keith Jarrett Standards Trio, in terms of fluidity and groove, and that’s a wonderful thing.

Alex Sipiagin – Upstream (Posi-Tone)

Trumpeter Alex Sipiagin has just released a new album with keyboardist Art Hirahara, bassist Boris Kozlov and drummer Rudy Royston called Upstream. A lively collection that jumps from strength to strength, whether it’s the hard swinging opener “Call” or the ballad “Echo Canyon” or the more modern sounding “Sight.” This is an album filled with interesting playing and exciting grooves.

Dave Bass – The Trio, Vol. 1 (self-produced)

Pianist Dave Bass has put out a number of solid albums, but it’s the variety of music, moods and styles that truly grabbed my attention on The Trio, Vol.1. With two songs from Bud Powell’s pen, and another clearly inspired by Powell, plus a Thelonious Monk classic, Bass reaches back to the Be-Bop era. With the standard “My Ideal,” he reaches back even further. But he also has a more adventurous side, with songs from Andrew Hill, Annette Peacock and Carla Bley (wait til you hear the excellent arrangement of “Vashkar”). And his originals prove that he’s figured out a way to put all of these pieces of the puzzle together. This is genuinely a nice album that I look forward to playing for you on DCB Jazz!