Tim Lyddon Iıve Traveled So Far (Essence Jazz) 4 stars
Posted on Friday, May 10 @ 07:02:51 EDT by ejazz
By Larry Nai
Recorded in the fall of 1999, Tim Lyddonıs debut as a leader is finally seeing the light of day, and fans of jazz piano have yet another cause to rejoice. There is certainly no shortage of good piano trio discs, a testament to the durability of the format, when itıs in good hands. And good hands are, most certainly, what Lyddon possesses.
Of course, if itıs only good hands that a pianist sports, the player runs the risk of being technically proficient, with a shortage of something to say. Lyddon combines hands with heart and mind (plus the extra hands of his bassist and drummer, Tom Hubbard and Scott Latzky, respectively), for a program that glows with warm intelligence.
With only two standards on the disc (Sammy Cahnıs ³I Should Care,² Burke & Van Heusenıs ³I Thought About You²), Lyddonıs originals have an inviting freshness, thatıs often reminiscent of Keith Jarrettıs early 1970ıs small-group work. In his writing as well as his playing, the pianistıs influences Jarrett, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, among others have been subsumed into Lyddonıs creative approach, and been fashioned into something quite exquisite. The sensibility at work here is one of enormous breadth, encompassing the unearthly beauty of Romantic and Impressionist imaginations, the classic American song form, and the harmonic innovations of the post-bop era.
³Dreamland,² for example, opens with a short phrase that recalls the melody of ³Letıs Fall In Love,² then spreads hushed, rubato chords in a poignant, classical-sounding landscape. ³Freedom Piece² starts with tense dissonances in Lyddonıs left hand, until Latzky and Hubbard enter, and the piece develops a questing character, one that is similar, in emotional feel, to the discıs title track (which, at an economical 4:21, deserves regular rotation by some enterprising jazz DJ). ³Theme For a Lost Real² evokes two lovers reminiscing on days gone by, as it pauses at several points for reflection, before Lyddon enters again with a few notes that invite further introspection. In contrast, ³What Time Is It?² shows the trio in uptempo bop mode. Not surprisingly, Lyddonıs lines bear the same distinctive stamp in this context, with a touch of Oscar Petersonıs bluesy swing. Hubbard steps out with a strong bass solo on this track; like the leader, heıs obviously knowledgeable of his intsrumentıs tradition. Scott Latzky trades tasteful fours with Lyddon after the bass run, but is most impressive for the finely-textured, unobtrusive support he provides throughout the disc. ³Unobtrusive,² as a matter of fact, is an adjective that often describes piano trios in their most workman-like mode. Not so here: Iıve Traveled So Far is a quiet gem, one that impresses more and more with every hearing.
The Tim Lyddon Trio (Ive Traveled So Far)
Lyddon takes the listener on an enchanting voyage as leader of the piano trio on "Ive Traveled So Far". He has a light touch on the keys, gently coaxing out tender waves of sound while his team of bassist Hubbard and drummer Latsky provides the complimentary subtleties. His expressiveness originates from playing his own compositions. Only two of the ten songs are from the popular field. While the tempo is typically not slow, Lyddon descends regularly into an introspective mood as he generates streams of improvisations. His thought process is very analytical. Lyddon travels down dusty lanes and off-the-beaten-path side roads, establishing an aura of peacefulness that is deceptive, given the complexity of his playing.
Underneath this is the pensive bass playing of
Hubbard and the intelligent drumming of Latzky. They mix up the patterns effectively and provide a solid base from which Lyddon is able to roam. Both musicians remain intuitively in synch with Lyddons' wandering direction. Lyddon does some interesting things with the two popular tunes on the disc; he finds new gems of improvisation within "I Should Care" and "I Thought About You." The recording represents this piano trio in an extremely good light, allowing the musicians to be quietly creative. It is an uplifting recording with enough of an edge to keep it firmly on the positive side of the ledger.
Frank Rubolino - Cadence magazine
I've Traveled So Far
Tim Lyddon | Piffaro
Track Listing: I've Traveled So Far; Angela; Theme For A Lost Real; I Should Care; Dreamland; Just Passin' By; Beautiful Feeling; What Time Is It; Freedom Piece; I Thought About You. (Total Time: 60:06).
Personnel: Tim Lyddon: Piano; Tom Hubbard: Bass; Scott Latzky: Drums.
What's not to like...
With an engaging light-as-a-feather, block-chord touch, pianist Tim Lyddon spins out eight original and two standard compositions, all impeccably performed in the piano trio format.. A California-born current New Yorker, Lyddon employs his original compositions to express the art of the trio. He is not a blues player (at least on this recording) opting for mostly ballads, both upbeat and languid. Lyddon's lyricism is apparent on the title song, "Angela," and "Dreamland." However, he can come off as angular and craggy as his solo piano take on his own "Theme for a Last Real" and Van Heusen's "I Thought About You."
Lyddon's support in bassist Tom Hubbard and drummer Scott Latzky who both take solo shots, most notably on "Dreamland" for the former and "Freedom Piece" for the latter. Even in as congested a market as piano trio releases, I continue to be amazed at the resilience and endurance of the trio format as a performance vehicle and the high quality of the musicianship expressed. Lyddon makes a strong case for his rendering of the piano trio.
~ C. Michael Bailey - All About Jazz
I've Traveled So Far
Tim Lyddon | Essence Pianist Tim Lyddon uses a trio setting on this set of ten songs and creates music that is demanding and inspired. Ably backed by bass and drums he spreads the tunes around on another and back again.
Eight songs are originals by Tim with the other two being standards. "Theme For a Lost Real" allows all to shine, a bass solo by Tom Hubbard and rock solid drumming by Scott Latzky. "Freedom Piece" takes a different turn and allows Tim to explore concise piano textures."Dreamland" flows as if it has taken liquid form. "What Time is It" is a different arrangement than the previous songs and makes its own statement.
Tim pays homage to the two standards, "I Should Care" and "I Thought About You" and still manages to put his own slant on them.
Taken as whole, this music is saturated with art,dignity and good fun. You won't be let down here, jazz is alive and well.
~ Stephen Koch - All About Jazz
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