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Friday, March 15, 2019

CD Review: Gabriel Latchin Trio - The Moon and I

Gabriel Latchin (piano); Dario Di Lecce (bass); John Morrison (drums).
(Review by Lance).

Call me irresponsible - ok, me and Frank - call me impatient that's your call but, I just couldn't wait until April 5 to tell the world about this one.

Latchin's second CD more than lives up to its predecessor - Introducing Gabriel Latchin which I raved about in 2017.

Straight down the middle piano jazz. No pregnant pauses, no using the piano as a harp substitute. Just honest, what you see is what you get, music! And what you get is a pianist who swings in the grand tradition of, to quote Jazzwise, Hank Jones or Tommy Flanagan.

A choice mix of standards and originals by Latchin, whose C.V. stretches from the Guildhall School of Music to mega masters such as Aaron Goldberg, Peter Martin and Peter Bernstein, demonstrating just how well he has assimilated their teaching whilst, at the same time, absorbing this knowledge to form part of his own individual approach. The result is a complete musician very much to be reckoned with.

Polka Dots and Moonbeams is as good a version of this ballad as you're ever likely to hear. So relaxed you can close your eyes and find yourself falling in love with a pug-nosed dream. Só Danço Samba and you're in Rio. 

Latchin's take on the standards is equalled, maybe even surpassed by his original compositions. No mere write a tune and think of a title scenario, each one is dedicated to someone he either loves or admires very much. Thus Arthur Go is a portrait of his first son and Pippy's Delight has number 2 son in mind. Both are rhythm changes based. Brigi My Dear is for his wife and Peek a Bu a tribute to Art Blakey who took the name Buhaina when, like so many boppers, he looked to the east. Latchin describes it as "Evoking personal heroes of mine - McCoy Tyner, Cedar Walton and Bobby Timmons, who all played with Blakey - the childlike twist of the title of this minor blues also embraces the family theme of the album."

All the great jazz pianists know their chords and Latchin certainly isn't found wanting - his voicings are a sheer delight. With Di Lecce and Morrison on board, this is as tight a trio that you're likely to find anywhere.

As well as working as MD for a new show by Ray Gelato and Claire Martin the pianist also takes the Moon and I on the road from April to July venturing as far 'north' as Luton.

Ah well!

The official release date is April 5 and the launch is at Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho, on May 8.
Lance.

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