A high performance bebop and Brazilian-flavoured trio set from the Harvard-educated 40-year-old pianist Aaron Goldberg in the company of his familiar playing partners Charles Lloyd double bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland.

Recorded for the large part in Brooklyn back in April, although three tracks date five years ago to a Swiss recording session, there’s a surprise at the end with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel cropping up on the glassy ‘One Life,’ its melody obliquely bringing to mind the 1940s Jule Styne song ‘I Fall in Love Too Easily.’

The Now is accessible modern mainstream piano jazz rooted in templates laid down by the likes of Ahmad Jamal and in its more introspective moments Bill Evans, with hooky shifts and turns from Goldberg and some highly decorative phrases bubbling out of nowhere on opener Chico Buarque’s ‘Trocando em Miúdos’.

Goldberg’s approach to paraphrasing melody, though not as dark or as intense, resembles Brad Mehldau’s a little; the Bostonian’s own tunes, for instance ‘The Wind in the Night’, gently persuasive and not a little sentimental. The inclusion of Charlie Parker’s ‘Perhaps’ is a surprise, a tune Bird recorded in 1948 with Miles Davis, pianist John Lewis, bassist Curley Russell, and drummer Max Roach, Goldberg sticking roughly to the same tempo and giving it a feelgood spin. There’s a more serious almost baroque strictness to the Djavan song ‘Triste Baía Da Guanabara’ one of the Switzerland-recorded songs and a definite highlight, the scampering Warne Marsh rarity ‘Background Music’, which appeared on Lee Konitz with Warne Marsh, fast and dazzling. So, lots to luxuriate in all in all from a Rolls-Royce of a trio. SG