Ben Rosenblum is an up and coming jazz pianist/composer residing in New York. On his debut album Instead he has enlisted the help of jazz veterans Curtis Lundy (bass) and Billy Hart (drums).
This is the work of a musician mature beyond his years. The album contains six originals and five covers, just over sixty minutes of some of the catchiest hard bop flavoured jazz you will hear this year.
The beginning track "Because It's Raining" is a lovely piano based jazz track with slight variations in tempo and subtle yet complex drumming. Rosenblum's playing is both colourful and fluidic adding a wonderful melody which made me hit the repeat button more than once. "Clarisse and Walter" is a bit more jaunty and upbeat as the piano, bass and drums really start to cook with fiery playing all around. "And Then It's Gone" is another melodic gem before a couple of covers grace our ears; Randy Weston's "Saucer Eyes" and Charlie Haden's "Nica". This is traditional hard bop fare, both catchy and totally irresistible. The bass and piano solos in "Saucer Eyes" are particularly impressive.
Instead is a nice mixture of classic and original compositions and has caught my attention with its fine playing and irresistible melodies. Highly recommended.
1. Because It's Raining
2. Clarisse and Walter
3. And Then It's Gone
4. Saucer Eyes
6. First Song
8. Far Back
10. Single Petal of a Rose
11. When Love Was You And Me
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