New York pianist/organist Kaufman – a former student of Fred Hersch and an alumnus of the New England Conservatory – here with a strong band playing the pianist’s own knottily engaging original compositions: that’s drummer Johnathan Blake (over at Ronnie Scott’s earlier this year with Ravi Coltrane), guitarist Gilad Hekselman, bassist Matt Clohesy, saxophonist Sam Sadigursky and percussionist Keita Ogawa.
Kaufman reminds me of Brad Mehldau a little especially when he combines with Sadigursky say on ‘Dew Eye’ it’s like Mehldau sparring with Joshua Redman back in the 1990s. The tunes are really great, modernistic with a slight melancholic touch and a loping, slightly eccentric gait to the swinging feel produced.
Anyone who’s heard say Nir Felder will be able to navigate Hekselman on ‘Farmington’ and Blake’s surgical manner here in chopping beats into tiny rhythmic portions gives his patterns plenty of individualism and power.
So, all in all, lots of ideas, fine playing in a non-dated modernistic manner and a band that fits remarkably well together. Worth discovering.
Released on 7 November