Longtime sideman in the working band of fellow Pittsburgh native Jeff “Tain” Watts, pianist-composer David Budway showcases his exceptional writing and playing on this MaxJazz debut. With Watts grounding the proceedings in inimitably forceful, polyrhythmic fashion alongside bassist Eric Revis, the underrated Budway sails through invigorating numbers like “Japanese Brunch,” featuring Marcus Strickland on soprano sax, and a blistering uptempo romp through the Gershwins’ “Strike Up the Band.” Branford Marsalis guests on the harmonically intriguing ballad “Lonely Cane,” dedicated to the late pianist Kenny Kirkland. The trio of Budway, Revis and Watts settles into a soulful accord on the ballad “Love You Tonight,” then hits a tumbao groove on the Afro-Cuban “Stinky.” Budway delivers superb solo-piano renditions of Monk’s “‘Round Midnight” and Cole Porter’s “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To.” And the mesmerizing “Sama’i Shat Arabud” is for Budway’s father, who introduced him to Arabic music.Originally Published
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