David Hazeltine – “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”

David Hazeltine, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” from The Time Is Now (Smoke Sessions)

The Time Is Now finds pianist-composer David Hazeltine leading a trio with a pair of close friends and fellow jazz masters: bassist Ron Carter and drummer Al Foster. All three artists are icons of the straightahead jazz tradition, so rather than reinvent the wheel, Hazeltine set out to create amazing music from familiar ingredients. The album, which comes out tomorrow on Smoke Sessions Records, is a collection of classics and originals that serves as a showcase for this group’s abundant technique and easy rapport.

The trio’s cover of “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” is one of the album’s standout tracks, and a perfect example of Hazeltine’s ability to get creative between the lines. For one, the song has been refashioned with a subtle Latin groove, adding a refreshing sense of levity. And while the overall structure of the song remains intact, Hazeltine manages to chop, shift and re-arrange the melody’s rhythmic pressure points so that it comes across feeling brand new. As the pianist ventures boldly into the song’s unexplored corners, Carter and Foster shine the light to lead his way.

Feature image courtesy Smoke Sessions Records. 

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