David Hazeltine is one of many accomplished jazz pianists based in New York City, developing an international following with his recordings for labels in Europe and Japan, in addition to the U.S. Some of his best work has been for Sharp Nine, which released his debut CD in 1995, several tracks of which focused on piano trios. The New Classic Trio features his regular drummer Joe Farnsworth, and the seasoned veteran George Mraz (who has recorded as member of the Oscar Peterson Trio, the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, and the Stan Getz Quartet, in addition to his work as a leader). Opening with a playful stop-and-go rendition of the standard "My Heart Stood Still," Hazeltine puts the spotlight immediately on Mraz, while Farnsworth's light brushes provide a terrific backdrop for the leader's driving solo. Mraz is also prominent in the whispering introduction to the bluesy take of "Come Rain or Come Shine." Hazeltine contributed several strong originals, including the hip "Blues for Sharpie," the constantly shifting "Another Divergence," and the infectious hard bop vehicle "The Rebound." Conga player Jose Alexis Diaz is added for Latin-flavored arrangements of "I Wish I Knew" and Bud Powell's "I'll Keep Loving You." This is an excellent addition to David Hazeltine's impressive discography.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden