Ben Waltzer: In Metropolitan Motion

Pianist Ben Waltzer’s In Metropolitan Motion, his third offering for the label, is a strong release. His music is both probing and calm; tunes like “Bass Line” and “The Blonde Bedouin” deliver a honeyed melancholy melodically, while settling into an imperturbable grooves straight out of North Africa. He’s joined by an excellent cast-bassist Chris Lightcap, drummer Gerald Cleaver, saxophonist Bill McHenry and, on a few tracks, hand percussionist Mohammed Naseehu Ali-that helps him keep one foot kicking forward with harmonic freedom and trance-inducing rhythms and the other firmly rooted in postbop fundamentals.