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Joel Weiskopf: The Search

Pianist Weiskopf’s debut as a leader is a determined, well-guided trio effort with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Billy Drummond. Younger brother of tenor saxophonist Walt Weiskopf, the pianist displays a committed attack and touch, and an impressionistic sense of harmony reminiscent of Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea. The group opens with Wayne Shorter’s “Edda,” a bright waltz on which the strength and style of the leader’s playing suggest McCoy Tyner.

The album’s three Weiskopf originals reveal a sophisticated harmonic sensitivity. “Song for the Lost” is a pretty tune and Washington’s warm, woody tone and percussive articulation recall Charlie Haden. “One for Karl” begins with a Drummond solo and follows with springy piano runs and rhythms. The title track begins darkly but evolves into a more playful mood as its fast tempo coalesces. Weiskopf completes the album with a solo performance of “My One and Only Love,” a fine capper from a pianist with a clear sense of direction and meaningful notes.

Originally Published