Joey Calderazzo – Going Home – Sunnyside Records SSC1049, 63:19 ****:
(Joey Calderazzo – piano; Orlando le Flemming – bass; Adam Cruz – drums; Branford Marsalis – tenor saxophone)
Joey Calderazzo is one of those polished and talented pianists, whose musical education was formed in lengthy relationships in Michael Brecker’s band and latterly with Branford Marsalis’ Quartet. Working with his own trio, he has embarked on an exploratory journey complete with a coherence of ideas entitled Going Home.
The session is mostly constructed of Calderazzo originals with two exceptions and they are “Stars Fell On Alabama” by Frank Perkins & Mitchell Parish and “My Foolish Heart” by Victor Young & Ned Washington. In the case of the former, Calderazzo takes the tune at a languid tempo, that is filled with an unemotional tranquility as benefits a starry night. On the latter composition also done in a ballad mode, bassist Orlando le Flemming is given plenty of solo space to show his technique and he continues his musings behind Calderazzo’s tender exploration of the theme.
As for his own compositions, Calderazzo starts the session with “Manifold” which means to multiply or reproduce. Thus Calderazzo takes the essence of the composition by producing a variety of notes and expanding the theme based upon ever increasing repeating lines. Drummer Adam Cruz is busy in the background generating supporting ideas. On the Calderazzo ballad “I Never Knew” the trio is joined by tenor saxophonist Branford Marsalis whose assertive brooding-tone elevates the proceedings.
“Legend” is the longest track on the session with drummer Cruz in a wilful inquisitive mode, while Calderazzo negotiates the theme with curiosity in a far-ranging and expansive approach. The closer is the title tune “Going Home”. This is a solo piano feature on which Calderazzo shows his contemplative but assured style. This release confirms that Joey Calderazzo gives full measure as a cerebral pianist of immense talent.
TrackList: Manifold; I Never Knew; Why Me; Stars Fell On Alabama; Legend; One Way; My Foolish Heart; Mike’s Song; Going Home