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Leo Genovese: Seeds

Leo Genovese’s third album as a leader is an arty mix of spirited acoustic jazz and eclectic, electronically enhanced experimentation. The gifted Argentine keyboardist is best known for his work touring and recording with Esperanza Spalding, and she returns the favor by supplying vocals on four of Genovese’s more unusual compositions here. He’s joined on most of the disc, however, by the group he’d once dubbed the Chromatic Gauchos: saxophonist Daniel Blake, bassist John Lockwood and drummer Bob Gullotti.

The album is its most familiar and approachable when Genovese sticks to acoustic piano, whether quietly interpreting the Argentine folk song “Los Ejes de Mi Carreta” or on his handful of originals with obvious jazz underpinnings. “Father of Spectralism” is particularly impressive, its joyous, bluesy energy calling to mind Keith Jarrett quartet albums of the 1970s-Genovese and Blake both shine brightest here. There’s some Jarrett feel to Genovese’s playing on the trio piece “Lets Get High,” too, but on “Posterior Mode” he’s suddenly, pleasingly evoking McCoy Tyner. The sax line launching “Our Historic Future,” meanwhile, somehow hints at Birth of the Cool.

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