May 2005

Alan Pasqua
My New Old Friend

While Alan Pasqua is well known by fusion heads as the keyboardist in the New Tony Williams Lifetime and composer of that band's anthemic "Proto-Cosmos" (which former Lifetime guitarist Allan Holdsworth still uses as an encore), this intimate piano trio offering showcases an entirely different side of his musicality.

My New Old Friend is underscored by the supple yet sparse bass work of Darek Oles (a kind of West Coast counterpart to Larry Grenadier who has been wildly in demand in recent years) and the sensitive, ECM-ish drumming of Peter Erskine. The CD is a striking collection of luminous and moving originals like Pasqua's "Barcelona," "Vienna" and the title track along with intensely personal, and eminently swinging, interpretations of jazz standards like "You Must Believe in Spring," "All the Things You Are" and "Body and Soul." The trio also turns in affecting renditions of Jimmy Webb's "Wichita Lineman" and Charlie Chaplin's "Smile," underscored by Erskine's Zen-like brushwork.

Fans of the highly interactive piano trios of Keith Jarrett and Brad Mehldau would be well advised to check out this beautiful recording.

Originally published in May 2005

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