After years of experimentation and exploration, it can be beneficial and, occasionally, revelatory to look backwards to known paths and accomplishments. The reexamination of an older composition can lead to new discoveries and goals for an ensemble that has been performing together for years.
Pianist/composer Greg Reitan has led his fantastic trio of bassist Jack Daro and drummer Dean Koba since 1996, formed shortly after their graduation from University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. Their long and fruitful tenure has created a fantastic partnership, which can be fully enjoyed on their new recording Post No Bills.
Originally from Seattle, Washington, Reitan relocated to Los Angeles to study composition at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. Upon graduation, he organized the trio with Daro and Koba to perform at the 1996 Hennessy Cognac Jazz Search in New York City, in which Reitan was a finalist.
The trio needed an original composition for their performance. Reitan decided to revisit a composition he had written for solo viola and orchestra and he then adapted elements for their piano trio. Being in New York City for the first time, Reitan was inspired by the myriad of sights and sounds, ultimately naming the piece after the nearly ubiquitous warning, “Post No Bills.”
Over the years, “Post No Bills” fell out of the trio’s repertoire. It wasn’t until the summer of 2013 that Reitan rediscovered it.
Reitan: “I made a few changes and decided to record it as the centerpiece for the new album. It’s really gratifying to see how the composition has evolved over the years and I still find it an exciting and rewarding work.”
The recording begins with a moving performance of Keith Jarrett’s “The Mourning of a Star,” which is followed by the introspective “One Day I’ll Fly Away” by the great Joe Sample. Daro’s supple bass playing leads to Reitan’s up-tempo arrangement of the great Victor Young standard “Stella By Starlight.” Horace Silver’s evergreen ballad “Lonely Woman” is tastefully rendered by the ensemble followed by a new, sweeping Reitan waltz entitled “Spring.”
The program continues with spare and heart felt rendition of George Gershwin’s “I Loves You, Porgy.” Chick Corea’s “Windows” follows with its tempered yet dynamic energy, which contrasts nicely with Denny Zeitlin’s ballad from his 1965 album Carnival entitled “After The War,” which is a lilting piece of musical poetry that crescendos into swing before evaporating into the ether. The title track begins softly and brightens into a colorful workout. The recording closes with another new Reitan original, “Solitude,” a tasteful piece featuring Daro’s bass work.
It has proven to be well worth revisiting the Greg Reitan Trio. The ensemble’s new Post No Bills has provided a perfect example of their strength as a group and as masterful interpreters of the jazz canon.
released August 19, 2014
Greg Reitan - piano
Jack Daro - bass
Dean Koba - drums