Friday, April 29, 2011

The Joyful Jazz of Noah Haidu

As spring slowly and tentatively emerges from under a  long winter, your South Dakota jazz fan dearly needs something to cheer him up.  I am listening to Noah Haidu's Slipstream.  It is doing the trick. 

Haidu is a New York pianist and member of the group Native Soul.  He is a student of Kenny Baron and Barry Harris.  The personnel on Slipstream include Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, whom I have been keeping an ear to.  Jon Irabagon plays a fine alto saxophone.  Chris Haney plays bass like he means it.  John Davis and Willie Jones III alternate on drums. 

This is a very tight and well-conducted band.  The music is energetic, straight ahead jazz joy.  I especially like Haidu's style of playing behind his horns: leading by commenting with one phrase after another.  His solos are gorgeous.  Maybe the best cut on the album is 'Float', a trio piece with Haney's bass and Davis on drums.  Pelt shines on 'Take Your Time'.  Or maybe the best cut is the opening 'Soulstep'.  That I can't make up my mind is a good sign.  

All I can tell you for sure is that I liked Slipstream, and you will too.  Buy it.  Support your friendly neighborhood jazz man.  You can hear a couple of cuts on my Live365 station.  

ps.  Check out the cut by Day & Taxi on that same station.  It's a rich horn and drums trio.  Tell 'em I sent ya. 

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