The Origin label and its sister label OA2 have a knack for unearthing jazz drummers and making them into bandleaders, utilizing the more rhythmically intense compositions that stem from a leader in that position as something of a hallmark. Nadav Snir-Zelniker, a drummer from the New York scene, combines here with pianist Ted Rosenthal and bassist Todd Coolman. While they tackle a series of standards and new compositions alike, the mix of influence and innovation runs heavy. The opening track shows off some outstanding drumming from Snir-Zelniker, switching easily between complex fills and simplistic accompaniments. On "Secret Love," Rosenthal breaks into a full-fledged flight of Bud Powell-style fancy, while Snir-Zelniker takes a turn at the same era with a long solo of klook-mop standards à la Max Roach. There's a slight touch of the exotic in Billy Strayhorn's "Isfahan" and a ringing, Bill Evans-like approach to the piano in "Jack's Theme," followed by a short showcase of Coolman's bass prowess. While each member has his own strong abilities, it's when the trio is firing on all cylinders, as in the stepped-up rendition of Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies," that the group really brings a crest to its sound, a worthwhile mix of speed and sensitivity to the music. An outstanding album for fans of classic jazz in particular, but modern fans should find some goodness on their way as well.
Thinking out Loud Review
by Adam Greenberg