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David Hazeltine: After Hours

Pianist David Hazeltine is one of those bold, intriguing instrumental voices issuing provocative music in the margins for years, without breaking out into the open. The Milwaukee native turned New Yorker has been making a solid, advancing name for himself as a sideman and pianist/leader. This recording, captured literally after-hours in Minneapolis, plays out with the kind of relaxed, casually steamy ambiance of a piano trio (with drummer Kenny Horst and bassist Billy Peterson) with nothing more to prove than good music-making, and a mature musical energy to convey. The mostly unorthodox song list includes “Happy Times,” by Freddie Hubbard (with whom Hazeltine played), a surprisingly elegant take on “People” (“needing people…”), his own coolly-charming “Look What I Found,” Cedar Walton’s “Hindsight” and a nervously scampering take on “Caravan.” Blessed with technical assurance and a head full of ideas, Hazeltine is a name to watch, and listen for.

Originally Published