Pianist Greg Reitan’s Daybreak seems custom-built for a late-September meander through Central Park on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Which is to say the record is pensive and beautiful and infused with delicate motion that conveys a sense of contentment tinged with nostalgic melancholy.
Whether he’s leading his trio through original compositions (the bouncy “Five Four” and dynamic “The Bells of Soledad” are standouts) or well-chosen standards (“Monk’s Mood,” “Chelsea Bridge”), Seattle native Reitan’s touch is sensitive but sure in conveying these hushed feelings. Always accenting emotion and melody over excessive improvisation (Reitan’s main gig is as a film composer), the music often brings to mind the classic recordings of Vince Guaraldi. No surprise then that Reitan covers the Charlie Brown classic “The Great Pumpkin Waltz.”
Sidemen Jack Daro (bass) and Dean Koba (drums) are equally caught up in the pianist’s tender moods, plying their accompaniment with restraint and taste throughout. A record that falls in the place where warm meets cool and green becomes gold, file this one under “autumnal jazz.”