Review: Downbeat

“Pianist Randy Ingram’s core group here is a trio, with bassist Matt Clohsey and drummer Jochen Ruckert, and their starting point is Bill Evans, making an explicit nod to that piano god with his “Time Remembered”. As you might expect, there’s the requisite, Evans-like flowing lyricism and ensemble elasticity throughout the album.  In fact, the inclusion of guitarist Mike Moreno on five tracks is evidently and acknowledgment of Evans’ collaboration with Jim Hall.

“But Ingram tends to think on a different scale than his hero.  Take “Silent Cinema”, which is more rhapsodic than Evans’ tune-based pieces.  And “99” (for the Occupy movement) is more in the post-rock mode of Brad Mehldau and Kurt Rosenwinkel.

“Moreno, meanwhile, articulates far more aggressively than Hall.  All of these are good things, distinguishing the music as Ingram’s own.  Especially appealing is the simpatico playing of Ingram and Moreno.  Their unison melody lines punctuate the ascent of the title cut, and Ingram seems to take special pleasure in commenting on Moreno’s solos both rhythmically and harmonically, punching up the velocity with his chording or whispering quiet encouragement.

“In a different mood, the guitarist and pianist take turns skating over the very Evans-like glide of the triple-time “Late Romantic”.  On “St. Louis”, the spiky, broken unison line of the theme, with Rueckert playing freely across his kit, recalls some long-lost Keith Jarrett/Sam Brown/Paul Motian collaboration of yore.  And “Nicky”, for the late rock pianist Nicky Hopkins, is a kind of country-rock shuffle that allows everyone ,especially Moreno, to cut loose.  It might make you forget all about Bill Evans.  Which can also be a good thing.”

Jon Garelick, Downbeat

 Review: Downbeat