Greg Reitan – Post No Bills – Sunnyside SSC1895, 46:13 ****:
(Greg Reitan – piano; Jack Daro – bass; Dean Koba – drums)
The plight of any up and coming jazz pianist is clear; the competition is brutal. The fight to be recorded and then heard is unrelenting. Making money through record sales or club dates is precarious. Through all this, the artist perseveres because that’s what they do, mostly against odds that would deter most individuals. Pianist Greg Reitan is well aware of this, but with his release entitled Post No Bills, the promise is there, but success is not guaranteed.
With his clever straight-forward approach to the keyboard, Reitan runs through ten tracks of what are mostly covers of popular songs or jazz-flavored pieces, along with a couple or three originals. Starting with a Keith Jarrett number entitled “The Mourning of a Star” which leaps out of the gate at a brisk pace. Here Reitan shows a clearness of touch and concepts, but is also mindful to give space to his cohorts and in this case it’s bassist Jack Daro. “Stella By Starlight” has been done to death by a wide variety of artists. It opens with a long solo from bassist Daro, and then Reitan shows-off his blistering technique, as he runs up and down the keyboard with aplomb, which is then followed by a strong drum-break from Koba.
Horace Silver penned the lovely “Lonely Woman” which Reitan treats with proper respect and warmth. George and Ira Gershwin’s folk opera Porgy And Bess produced a plethora of memorable compositions, but none more evocative than “I Loves You, Porgy”. In Reitan’s hands, it is stripped down to its essence and given a cerebral reading.
Reitan’s own compositions include the title track “Post No Bills” which starts out with some uncluttered meditation, then the pace picks up with some tricky bass work from Daro, followed by a blistering piano extension by Reitan. The closing track is another Reitan original composition entitled “Solitude”. It opens with some fleet-fingered bass from Daro, then segues into a moody pianistic rumination that is edgy but thoughtful.
With a robust and unhampered style, Greg Reitan deserves to be heard.
TrackList: The Morning Of A Star; One Day I’ll Fly Away; Stella By Starlight; Lonely Woman; Spring; I Loves You, Porgy; Windows; After The War; Post No Bills; Solitude