Ethan Iverson – Every Note Is True (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 43:00 minutes | 1,44 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Blue Note Records
As part of The Bad Plus, Ethan Iverson was often the unruffled presence at piano, stoic and hard to read. In interviews, he could go completely silent. Since leaving the trio, which he co-founded in 2000, Iverson has played with Albert “Tootie” Heath, recorded with Tom Harrell and even fostered a career as a freelance writer in the pages of The New Yorker. Here in a nearly all-instrumental album he compares to Money Jungle, the famous 1962 trio record of Duke Ellington, Max Roach and Charles Mingus, Iverson has decided to stretch his more accessible sides, in what he calls, “a set of attractive tunes that have a bit of a pop influence,” and where “that bright big piano is back.” Veteran bassist Larry Grenadier (Pat Metheny, Brad Mehldau) and drummer Jack DeJohnette (Miles Davis) complete what is, if not a traditional power trio of sorts, then a trio with an immense reserve of experience and artistry.
This set opens on the sentimental and short “The More It Changes” with Iverson doing his best vocalist impression along with a massed children’s choir. Seizing on a term his mother-in-law used, Iverson penned the sprawling “The Eternal Verities,” whose rambling melody line eventually becomes a bit more urgent and almost cinematic in its sweep and intention. Recorded at the Clubhouse Studio in Rhinebeck, NY, by producer/engineer Andreas K. Meyer and Shubham Mondal, the piano has a glorious resonant presence throughout, effectively mixing with the close-in bass and drums. The only tune on the album not written by the pianist is Jack DeJohnette’s “Blue” in which Iverson ranges up and down the keyboard, teaming with the drummer on forceful rumbling low chords that wind down to a single cymbal strike conclusion. The lively, emphatic “Goodness Knows” has the feel and rhythms of an old bebop standard as Iverson repeats a piano figure over and over before Grenadier digs into a rich solo. Iverson then climbs the keys to take the tune home for a sprightly finish.
“Merely Improbable,” another highlight, is an upbeat jaunt that shows the depth of the muscle inherent in the playing of this elite and very musical threesome, with DeJohnette peppering the tune with fertile enunciations. The blues appears in the closer “At the Bells and Motley,” and in “Praise Will Travel,” the cinematic sweep returns as optimism rises until it becomes a scamper with Iverson showing a refreshing joy in his playing. Always an expansive player, Iverson, who still feels most comfortable in a trio setting, has grown and added to his musical vocabulary since exiting The Bad Plus. Every Note is True is a fine Blue Note debut, further expanding the range and emotions present in the playing of this increasingly unclassifiable pianistic presence. – Robert Baird
01. Ethan Iverson – The More It Changes (01:17)
02. Ethan Iverson – The Eternal Verities (05:56)
03. Ethan Iverson – She Won’t Forget Me (04:06)
04. Ethan Iverson – For Ellen Raskin (04:49)
05. Ethan Iverson – Blue (03:26)
06. Ethan Iverson – Goodness Knows (04:40)
07. Ethan Iverson – Had I But Known (02:36)
08. Ethan Iverson – Merely Improbable (03:29)
09. Ethan Iverson – Praise Will Travel (03:32)
10. Ethan Iverson – At The Bells And Motley (09:05)