Our Own Sweet Way
I admire Rattle’s commitment to great music and to beautiful packaging. The CD might be dead but for those still whispering long live the CD Rattle provide some hope, some belief in the product/artefact.
Jonathan Crayford (piano), Roger Sellers (drums) and Paul Dyne (bass) are three of New Zealand’s greatest jazzers; world-class players all three. You can hear them in a variety of contexts too – Crayford is a restless musical spirit, engaging in funk and other vestiges of jazz, working on other instruments also. Sellers and Dyne work together often as a subtle, inspiring rhythm section, caressing tunes, respecting tunes – their knowledge encyclopaedic, their experience vast (near enough to daunting).
And as a trio Crayford Sellers Dyne provide two important functions: the preservation and experimentation (simultaneously) of some great jazz tunes (standards and should-be-standards). But for me the most important aspect of this trio’s work is hearing Crayford playing piano again. Playing it straight, if you like…
I’ve enjoyed his work in other roles but he is a gifted pianist – our jazz-version of Michael Houstoun, as distinct and idiosyncratic as Mike Nock – Crayford can touch on the styles of many of the greats (Monk, Brubeck, Shearing) and he does that on this album but he imbues these versions of the great pieces with his own style, his own touch.
Crucial to that – to allowing Crayford the space and providing the support, Sellers and Dyne are flawless.