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Roberta Piket: Love and Beauty

Roberta Piket

Roberta Piket is a gifted pianist and composer who leads one of the most accomplished and idiosyncratic piano trios in jazz. (Its other two members are Ratzo Harris, an eloquent six-string bass soloist, and Billy Mintz, a melodic, perversely quiet, oddly propulsive drummer who writes cool songs).

Piket’s musical erudition never calls attention to itself. Her reharmonization of “You’re My Everything” is extremely clever, but its point is to provide dynamic blowing changes. “Alone, Alone” is a rethinking of “Alone Together” and also a Lennie Tristano tribute. Piket acknowledges Tristano in her intricate two-handed lines with no chords and her accentual displacements, yet sounds like herself. “Up, Up and Away” is another highly inventive recomposition. The Fifth Dimension never dreamed of all those measures in 5/4 and 6/4. But the most striking Piket transformation of a standard is “So in Love.” It is achingly slow, piecing out the melody in careful, poignant testimony.

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