Ivan Paduart

White Nights

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Can an acoustic-oriented, essentially straight-ahead jazz album be influenced by what has transpired in the electric jazz realm? Are fusion and pop-jazz/crossover relevant to acoustic post-bop? On White Nights, Ivan Paduart shows that the answer to both questions is "absolutely." Forming a trio with upright bassist Philippe Aerts and drummer Hans Van Oosterhout, the Belgian jazzman sticks to the acoustic piano and favors what is essentially straight-ahead post-bop on this 1995 date. Paduart's love of the acoustic pianism of Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, among others, is evident on charming pieces like "Steps in the Snow" and "Fairy Tale," but when subtle pop-jazz overtones make their way to "Ecoline" (which features harmonica great Toots Thielemans), "Heartsong," and other lyrical offerings, it's also clear that Paduart (whose other guests on the album include guitarist Philip Catherine and saxman Bob Malach) appreciates the composing of such electric jazzmen as Pat Metheny and the Yellowjackets. While White Nights is acoustic-oriented enough for purists, fusion and crossover fans will want to explore this album and see how nicely electric artists can affect the acoustic realm.

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