Aaron Diehl’s Space, Time, Continuum – Another Young Piano Grandmaster to Watch

These days from my admittedly biased European perspective you could say that all new great Jazz is coming out of Europe these days, especially in the Jazz piano trio space, basically since Esbjörn Svensson brought this art form into the 2000s, taking over a great legacy dating back to Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett.

This is rubbish admittedly, although I have quite a number of posts in the making (at least in my head) about great artists like Triosence, Giovanni Mirabassi, the Tingvall Trio, Tord Gustavsen, etc., all from Old Europe.

But obviously already Shai Mastro I mentioned last week is from Israel, and the  birthplace of Jazz is still an absolute Jazz hotspot, and I’m jealous of anybody living in NYC for their live scene.

Aaron Diehl

Diehl really is an extraordinary talent. His first non-live album, The Bespoke Man’s Narrative (2013) was already eye-opening, and he certainly is respond for a large part in the appeal that Cecile McLorin Salvant’s debut album Woman Child had on me and many others (the album got a Grammy award nomination).

This guy, born in 1985 in Ohio, is still very young, only two years older than Shai Maestro I recently mentioned. I expect this guy to have a great career, and be part, if needed, of the living proof that Jazz is not dead, but clearly very much alive (unfortunately in too much of a niche habitat).

Space, Time, Continuum

Aaron Diehl Space, Time, Continuum 2015 Mack Avenue

Nice title, first of all. It really illustrates the relevance of punctuation.

Side note, can an album that has a track called Flux Capacitor be bad? (I assume I’ve just given away my age. If you have no idea what a flux capacitor is, think Doc Brown and DeLorean, if that still doesn’t ring a bell, well, you missed an entire decade and will just have to google it yourself).

Diehl plays here with his regular trio of David Wong and Quincy Davis, but this isn’t, except for some selected tracks, a trio album. They are joined, in various permutations, by Bennie Golson, Joe Temperley, Stephen Riley, (sax all of them) and Bruce Harris (on trumpet).

But no matter how many horns you add, the star remains Diehl. He is always present, and very nicely so. What is so special about him, is probably his touch, it always sounds easy and relaxed, no matter how complex the material gets.

On the last track, we even get a guest appearance of Cecile McLorin Salvant. Well, she’s always welcome to pop up anywhere as far as I concerned, she is truly very special. I’m looking forward to her soon to be released new album.
My rating: 4 stars, very enjoyable throughout.

You can get it here or here as downloads..

Author: Musicophile

I'm not a professional musician, I don't work in the music industry, I'm just what the name says, somebody who loves music. I've been in love with music for all of my life, took piano lessons for nearly 10 years, and played in several amateur Jazz groups. I go to concerts, both classical and Jazz, quite regularly. And I collect music previously on vinyl and CDs, now on my computer, and am slightly OCD on my music collection. You can reach me at Musicophile1(AT)gmail.com

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