When he’s not busy being a composer, arranger, double Grammy-winner and accompanist to the celebrities, New Zealand pianist Alan Broadbent leads his trio, together with bassist Harvie S and drummer Billy Mintz. Their impromptu type, avoiding written preparations and even rehearsals, succeeds as a result of they’re like-minded and share the identical unwritten musical maxims. Broadbent has lengthy been admired for the readability of his approach, and right here it quantities to a type of joyful precision, all the time melodic however typically difficult, too.
All three are continuously alert, catching phrases, selecting up clues. There are some good moments, usually so fleeting that they’re straightforward to overlook. As an illustration, in the direction of the top of With the Wind and the Rain in Your Hair, Broadbent takes off into an improvised coda. The bass and drums fall in behind and comply with it gently to a detailed. It solely takes just a few seconds, but it surely’s so elegantly accomplished that I had to return and hearken to it once more. There are 9 tracks right here, all filled with related moments. For me, the three excellent items are Hank Mobley’s This I Dig of You, Sonny Rollins’s Airegin and a stunning model of the ballad Stairway to the Stars.