Ivan Paduart

Clair Obscur

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While Belgian Suites, While Nights, and other albums that Ivan Paduart recorded in the 1990s emphasized his own material, Clair Obscur finds the Belgian pianist paying tribute to Fred Hersch, embracing Hersch's compositions exclusively. One of the finest acoustic pianists of the 1980s and '90s, Hersch is among the influences Paduart claims -- and, to be sure, Hersch and Paduart do share a lot of common ground. For one thing, both have been greatly influenced by pianist Bill Evans. Paduart, like Hersch, however, is his own man -- and while Paduart's appreciation of Hersch is evident on such poetic pieces as "Lullabye," "Rainwaltz," and "Evanessence," Paduart doesn't go out of his way to emulate him. Forming an acoustic piano trio with bassist Nic Thys and drummer Hans Van Oosterhout, Paduart makes Clair Obscur an enjoyable post-bop/Bebop date that will appeal to Hersch's admirers as well as his own.

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