Shai Maestro

On his latest foray as a leader all folky, fairly laidback, packed with virtuoso flourishes pianist Shai Maestro with Jorge Roeder on bass and Ofri Nehemya on drums The Dream Thief has a lilting densely lush interest in original melody and of course if you know his work at all is beautifully played. However it has its flaws, take the ponderous treatment of ‘These Foolish Things’ right at the end where rhapsody has become the end goal, the interpretation a journey towards that aim it is clear from the start, the Maestro approach seems too ornate even if accidentally so and more a circling of the object rather than a penetrating engagement with the subtleties of the great standard. I much preferred his Untold Stories trio album released in 2015 on another label where the production methods and a different drummer seemed to suit him better if push were to come to shove and return to it for pleasure in preference. By contrast here I came away with the shrugging feeling of ah another typically tasteful ECM piano trio formula effort done and dusted. SG 
Shai Maestro, above. Photo: Gabriel Baharlia/ECM.