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Peter Beets: New York Trio

Dutch pianist Peter Beets cites several great pianists as influences in the liner notes to New York Trio (Criss Cross), but the influence of Cedar Walton and Bud Powell are most discernable here. The song forms of the six originals and three standards are very familiar, but Beets invigorates virtually all of them; the version of Irving Berlin’s “Best Thing for You” is the finest instrumental rendition of this tune that I can recall, and the tempo shifts in Jerome Kern’s “The Way You Look Tonight” are delightful. Drummer Willie Jones III is consistently good throughout, and bassist Rodney Whitaker contributes a virtuoso performance.

Much of the recording succeeds in the manner of another Bud Powell-influenced European pianist’s great trio recordings, those of Tete Montoliu with Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen and Tootie Heath. It cannot be said that Beets and company are directly influenced by these recordings, but the performances here are reminiscent of them in that a great deal of elan is brought to standard forms that should please even the jaded listener. Only the pedestrian tune closing the recording, “Blues for the Apple,” fails to achieve this level of quality.

Originally Published