. . . and this is among their very best. I've been following Edward Simon ever since he held down the piano chair in Bobby Watson's great 80's band, Horizon. Here's a guy who's honed his chops with some of the jazz greats: Greg Osby, Victor Lewis, Paquito D'Rivera, Bobby Hutcherson, Jerry Gonzalez, Terence Blanchard, Dave Binney, Adam Rogers, and lots of others.
One of the most lyrical and highly trained Latin jazz pianists to ever grace the jazz scene, he keeps moving from strength to strength. Of the five discs I have with him as leader (he has at least seven or eight), this is perhaps my favorite, although all of them are eminently worth acquiring.
Many things stand out on Unicity, foremost, perhaps, its striking balance between players (Simon, piano; John Patitucci, bass, electric bass; Brian Blade, drums). It's easy to see why the team of Patitucci and Blade has anchored Wayne Shorter's quartet for the past few years: they simply overflow with ideas, simpatico accompaniment, striking rhythmic conceptions, and brilliant coloration. But you know what? Simon is every bit their equal. He sets the tone for each track with precise intros and smart voicings, takes most of the solos, and plays each note with conviction. Steeped in classical, jazz, and Latin music, he combines the best of each in spectacular fashion. For one so extensively trained in classical piano literature, he has none of the stiffness or formality often associated with such players. Indeed, his solos dance and cavort with glee and élan, bursting with controlled energy and passion scarcely held in check.Read more ›
I bought this because Brian Blade is my hands down favorite percussionist and this was no disappointment. It's impossible to describe the extraordinarily lyrical touch he has on drums and how cohesive this trio sounds together. This album is simply beautiful, start to finish.
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