Randy Ingram

The Road Ahead

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Young jazz pianist Randy Ingram shows a modernistic touch similar to peers Aaron Parks, Gerald Clayton, and Robert Glasper, influenced by older masters from Keith Jarrett and Fred Hersch all the way back to Thelonious Monk. His penchant for modal melodies, repeated and developed lines, and beautifully crafted reflective moods is clearly heard on this recording of his own originals and favored standards in trio settings, or at times with the complement of tenor or soprano saxophonist John Ellis. Ingram is at peace with the style he has chosen, especially when you hear spirit-based music like "Rock Song #3" (quite unlike its title); the evocative, flowing version of Cole Porter's "So in Love"; and the ballad "Hope." Then again, Ingram and his band, with rising star bassist Matt Clohesy and drummer Jochen Rueckert, can turn on a dime, quickly jamming with a Sonny Rollins-influenced Ellis in hard-charging neo-bop fashion, doing a careful version of Ornette Coleman's "Round Trip," or fully integrating and updating Monk's tricky "Think of One." Overall, this is a fine first effort for a pianist who should be on the scene, making original music for a long time. It's also part of the burgeoning Brooklyn Jazz Underground label, a company to which every serious jazz lover should pay close attention.

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