Marian Petrescu Quartet With Andreas Oberg… Thrivin’ Live At The Jazz Standard – Resonance Records RCD-1014 62:59 ****½:
(Marian Petrescu, piano; Andreas Oberg, guitar & voice (My Romance); David Flinck, bass; Mark McLean, drums)
In an auspicious debut, Marian Petrescu has emerged onto the jazz landscape as a kinetic and artistic presence. A gifted and classically-trained pianist, he has managed to integrate his conservatory training with a swinging improvisational style that elevates the musical expression. Although Romanian born, Petrescu demonstrates an uncanny feel for traditional jazz as he demonstrates a wide variety of techniques and tone.
The set opens with a cascading and uptempo Oscar Peterson song, Cakewalk, that allows precise and yet explosive piano and guitar solos. A turn on the Rodgers and Hart ballad, My Romance offers a smooth and softer touch on the piano, as does the inevitable homage to Bill Evans on Blue In Green. The musical diversity and mood shifts are a tribute to Petrescu’s skill and feel for the jazz nuance. A bluesy interpretation of Yours Is My Heart Alone, demonstrates his expertise as a band leader as all the members offer unique solos. A scintillating arrangement of the opus, On The Trail (3rd movement of the Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Grofe), captures the artist’s classical roots with a seemingly endless torrent of divergent notes and shifts. Fittingly, the set ends on a graceful note with the reverential and dazzling rendering of the Hanley McDonald Americana composition, Indiana.
Recorded at the Jazz Standard in New York, the sound quality is excellent and serves to faithfully reproduce the energy of this live performance.
TrackList: Cakewalk, My Romance, Blue In Green, Blues Etude, On The Trail, Yours Is My Heart Alone, Indiana
— Robbie Gerson