Wednesday, August 3, 2016
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: BRANDI DISTERHEFT - BLUE CANVAS
North Van's bassist extraordinaire, Disterheft recruited a couple of awesome pals for this trio album. 80-year old Harold Mabern is one of the few remaining piano giants, best known as an in-demand sideman for decades, accompanying everyone from Miles to Sarah Vaughn to Lee Morgan to Wes Montgomery. On his own, or in small groups like this, he's a confident, energetic player with lots of blues in his bop, making for melodic and exciting tunes. On drums is Joe Farnsworth, a former student of Mabern's, known for his time with Diana Krall and Pharoah Sanders.
It's her name on the cover, but Disterheft treats this much more as a trio album, with lots of space for both Mabern and Farnsworth to lead. A mix of originals by her, and one from Mabern, plus some lesser-known covers, this is all pretty much fresh music to most ears. It's all lively, even the ballads; as the tempo slows, both Disterheft and Mabern play some of their fastest work, a smart style, and certainly a great way to appreciate the skills. Disterheft also treats us to two vocal numbers. She's a capable singer, and it helps pace the album, making sure there isn't a chance anyone could tire of the trio format. I don't see how that could happen though, this music smokes right along with strong melodies and imaginative moves at every turn.