There are a number of pianists blessed with such technique that they could play pretty much anything. Where Geoffrey Keezer has them beat is that he can also think of pretty much anything—and on this album, he does.
Granted, he’s had time to gather his thoughts, having gone five years since his last album, the understatedly virtuosic Heart of the Piano. But the wait was worth it. Take the way he and his trio—bassist Mike Pope and drummer Lee Pearson—approach “All the Things You Are.” Instead of making it into the usual circle-of-fifths juggernaut, Keezer and company halve the tempo and reduce the bass line to a skeletal thump, lending the tune an almost modal feel. This harmonic deconstruction goes on for almost five minutes, whereupon a sequence of gospel chords introduces an actual funk groove, and suddenly—saints be praised!—we’re listening to Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Serpentine Fire.” Betcha didn’t see that coming.