The Kevin Brady Trio | Zeitgeist (feat. Bill Carrothers)

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Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz Jazz: Piano Jazz Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Zeitgeist (feat. Bill Carrothers)

by The Kevin Brady Trio

Zeitgeist is the critically acclaimed album release from leading Irish Drummer Kevin Brady, A creative & highly original collection of music, the record features U.S. pianist Bill Carrothers. Visit: www.kevinbrady.ie
Genre: Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz
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1. Out of the Blue
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5:50 $1.50
2. That Russian Thing
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6:32 album only
3. Home Row
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4:09 album only
4. Big Mouth
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3:06 $1.50
5. Waltz Macabre
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6:41 album only
6. Zeitgeist
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4:33 $1.50
7. Church of the Open Air (For Bo Harbison)
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7:13 album only
8. In the Wheelhouse
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4:27 album only
9. Black Nile
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5:35 $1.50
10. Gitchee Gumee
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7:30 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Zeitgeist is a loaded word. In English it’s usually taken to mean the spirit of the times, but in the original German it has various, more subtle shades of meaning. One refers to the ethos of a particular group of people, a shared approach to thinking about or tackling something. So when drummer and leader, Kevin Brady, and his cohorts, pianist Bill Carrothers and bassist Dave
Redmond, settled on Zeitgeist for their album’s title, this is what they probably had in mind. And there’s no doubt but that the music here represents a similar meeting of minds. If this piano trio has a model, it’s the kind of interactive democracy of the original Bill Evans trio of the late 50s, with all three instruments contributing to the dialogue. But nobody here is cloning Evans, Scott La Faro or Paul Motian. Any influences they may have as individuals are now so finely filtered that they’re like obscure genes on some remote strand of their cultural DNA. What you get now is the sum total of what makes them the musicians they are...

If anything sums up this trio it’s this sense of trust your instincts. Carrothers, rightly regarded by his peers as one of the finest jazz pianists of his generation, knows the musical rules but has always trusted his instincts and encouraged others to do the same. And Brady did likewise when he zeroed in on those qualities in the pianist and in Redmond. Zeitgeist sounds like they got the album’s title just right.

Ray Comiskey writes on jazz for The Irish Times


Reviews


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The Irish Times

"A transatlantic relationship destined to get better and better"
Both subtlety and verbosity are at play on Dublin drummer Kevin Brady's latest hook-up with American pianist Bill Carrothers. Brady and Bassist Dave Redmond have considerable playing experience together, so much so that they can probably anticipate each other's twists and turns.

But the arrival of Carrothers brings new vibrancy to the mix. Listen to how the dialogue develops and note the point at which individual characters dominate the discourse. Carrothers is at his best when adjusting new harmonic shapes, a challenge which drummer and bassist respond to with considerable vim.

There's a beautiful, slow-motion lyrical drag to the tune ' That Russian Thing'. while their version of Wayne Shorter's Black Nile makes a vintage bottle taste fresh and new. A transatlantic relationship destined to get better and better. Review by Jim Carroll

The Sunday Tribune

"A fresh,subtle blend of old and new"
Drummer Kevin Brady's second record with American pianist Bill Carrothers is further vindication of the Dubliner's creative energy and his commitment to making good music happen. A visiting musician with a local rhythm section can sometimes sound like strangers on a train, but Carrothers, Brady and bassist Dave Redmond have been playing together for a few years and it shows. As the principle composer of the group, the pianist supplies not only his fine, darkly humorous compositions, but also his restless musical imagination which refuses to settle for any tired trio tropes. The result is a very fresh, subtle blend of old and new that gives the listener something to think about. Review by Cormac Larkin ****

The Sunday Independent

"Tracks capture spirit of the time".
Bill Carrothers is an American pianist who tours regularly with drummer Kevin Brady and bassist Dave Redmond. This is the trio's second CD, launched in June. They establish a feeling of spontaneity right from the opening number, Brady's Out Of The Blue. The other tunes vary in pace and mood and Redmond's Big Mouth is a calm piece that belies its title. Zeitgeist, co-written by all three musicians, is a highlight!. Equally engaging is the lyrical, melancholy treatment of Wayne Shorter's Black Nile.
Review by Grainne Farren

PAUL ZETTER | TRIORIOT.COM

"The Zeitgeist of the jazz piano trio of today"
I’ve recently got into the fabulous pianist Bill Carrothers from his I Love Paris CD (2006) that proves that good music like good acting just needs someone to look you directly in the eye and speak honestly from the heart without affectation. So I was happy to see him as pianist on new release Zeitgeist under the name of Irish drummer Kevin Brady’s Trio. It’s an absolute delight of beautifully played jazz full of great tunes soulfully rendered and all with a story to tell. That Russian Thing, Waltz Macabre and the deeply ruminant Church Of The Open Air in title alone, all conjure up interesting cinematic images across a range of genres that will have you absorbed. Carrothers is a seriously top draw pianist – with a sometimes Bley like touch and elegiac John Taylor style voicings that span both hands – he manages to evoke the style and period of the song, especially on standards, whilst always imbuing it with his individual contemporary edge and oh yes, he swings like the best of them, with the spirit of the great pre-bebop swing pianists like Hines, Cole, Ellington, Garner and Wilson in attack and clarity of line – check out the romping block chords in Home Row. In contrast, on the collectively written Zeitgeist and the impressionistic version of Shorter’s Little Nile he draws on more contemporary even avant-garde piano influences - they've all been processed through Carrother's diverse musical prism. Drummer Brady himself is a new discovery for me and I can see why this marriage works – both (and I should include the bass player Dave Redmond here who is their equal) have a respect for the trio lineage starting way back, both swing like crazy and both have the toolkit and chops to wrap everything up into a sound that yes, feels like it is the Zeitgeist of the jazz piano trio of today.

There’s a prevailing mood of freshness, mutual respect and drive that all serve to tell these 10 very different stories culminating in the Lake Superior homage Gitchee Gumee, a 7 minute investigation of the soul, full of gospel inflections and probing right hand lines all underpinned by a slow pulsing foundation built by Brady and the stella bass playing of Redmond that will make you murmur ahhhhh out loud as the final chord fades. I always hesitate for a few nano seconds when I see trios headed by drummers for obvious reasons, but have no fear, this one is as good as they get and in many respects better than most.

Do you remember going away traveling for a while and then eventually coming home and reaching for an album to play to settle yourself back into reality and the promise of new things ahead? This is what you’d choose.

POSTED BY PAUL ZETTER

Downbeat Magazine | Alain Drouot

"Brady, is worth keeping an eye on"
Over the years, the commendable efforts of the label Fresh Sounds New Talent have provided some exposure to young musicians who. if deserving, are yet to define their musical vision. Although Irish drummer cannot be accused of bringing Bill Carrothers with the unique purpose of gaining credibility - the two seem to have developed a solid working relationship - the pianist provides most of the material and the recording definetely bears his mark and displays his most lyrical and romantic side. The most memorable aspects of the first part of the program are Brady's playing on his " Out of the Blue" and Carrothers Russian folk song quotes on his own " That Russian Thing." At midpoint, with the delightfully zany " Waltz Macabre" characterized by the pianist's rhythmic imagination and the drummer's circus rolls, the proceeding take a turn for the better. The title track is a collective effort that suggests that the trio is even more at ease without the constraints of fixed parameters.

As a drummer and a leader, Brady avoids the common mistake of indulging himself and only takes one short solo. The wild card in this trio is, Dave Redmond, who's a sensitive musician and understands how to move the music forward without getting in the way, especially while dealing with Carrothers' personal harmonic approach.

In the future, if Brady could curb his sometimes exuberant enthusiasm - interestingly enough, he never does it on slower numbers- and build on his strengths of Zeitgeist, he is worth keeping an eye on.

Written by Alain Drouot.

Downbeat Magazine - February 2010.

Journal of Music | Kevin Stevens

"Zeitgeist is a truly international effort, a superb collection of music."
It is nearly three years since drummer Kevin Brady formed his current trio with fellow Dubliner Dave Redmond and the mercurial American pianist Bill Carrothers. That the group has developed and sustained a deep musical relationship across this span, with four national tours and two first-rate recordings to its credit, is particularly noteworthy as Carrothers lives in the rugged, distant reaches of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, far from the urban centres where jazz usually flourishes and farther still from Ireland.
But this collaboration transcends geography just as its music transcends genre.  The trio’s first record, Common Ground, one of the top jazz issues of 2008, documented the sensitive feel these musicians have for each other’s playing and for the harmonic and rhythmic challenges they set for themselves. Zeitgeist builds on their ever-growing sense of common purpose and is full of surprising moments that run against the grain of expectation, eschewing cliché and exploring musical territory that is broad and compelling.
The atmospheric opening track, ‘Out of the Blue’, written by Brady, is evidence of his maturing compositional sense and offers an ideal platform for the trio’s well-knit, interactive approach. Likewise, bassist Redmond’s ‘Big Mouth’ is a harmonically probing tune that seems to define itself as it goes along. Both Irishmen are writing with the assurance and sense of adventure that has marked their playing for many years.
Most of the tunes on the album, however, are written by Carrothers. Well known for his openness to sources many jazz musicians are not even aware of – music-hall songs, hymns, bluegrass, and maritime music, for example – his pieces are informed by a breadth of influence that gives them a dimension and richness well beyond the time-worn structures of post-bop jazz. ‘That Russian Thing’, with its stately, dance-like feel and references to Fiddler on the Roof, and the slyly humorous ‘Waltz Macabre’ give evidence of an interest in European musical forms that rarely intersect with jazz. ‘Home Row’ and ‘In the Wheelhouse’ show us that side of Carrothers that loves Clifford Brown and Sonny Rollins. But for me the album’s highlight is the closing track, ‘Gitchee Gumee’, a lovely, lyrical tribute to Lake Superior, the world’s largest fresh-water lake, which presides over Carrothers’ home state of Michigan with the kind of mythic grandeur (cleverly evoked by quotes from Stravinsky’s Firebird) that the Irish Sea holds for Stephen Dedalus in the opening pages of Ulysses.
Anyone who has seen this trio live will know how these three very individual players love to push each other and themselves, and how the result is always exciting and distinctive. Zeitgeist captures that spirit. With eloquent liner notes from Ray Comiskey and distribution and production support from Barcelona’s dynamic Fresh Sound Records, Zeitgeist is a truly international effort, another notch in Brady’s expanding producer’s belt, and a superb collection of music.

JAZZWISE | U.K.

"Excellent, something that needs to be heard!!!"
JAZZWISE | U.K. July 2009 ***



An excellent follow-up to this trio's debut Common Ground and a worthy motivation for the tour they undertook this May. Much of the character of the trio, and a majority of the original repertoire, is down to the rather unique contribution of the still neglected Carrothers. I've endeavoured before to describe his rhythmic flexibility and harmonic language which, while resembling a few other pianists in small ways, result in a sound that's difficult to nail in non-technical language.

In this context, it's not surprising that Brady's opening track, a moody minor 3/4 piece called ' Out of the Blue', sounds remarkably different from the recent version by the trio Organics which also includes the drummer.

But this seems the best forum for drawing out Brady's qualities, and likewise Redmond is usefully stretched, more than in some other contexts. For some reason Carrothers' lyrical closing item, 'Gitchee Gumee', contains an extended quotation from Stravinsky's Firebird Suite, but these comments are mere listening notes to something that needs to be heard.
by Brian Priestly

Jazz Journal U.K. | Mark Gardner

"The interaction between the musicians is first class"
Irish drummer Brady and fellow countryman Redmond have been teaming up with New York pianist Carrothers for four years, settling into a well integrated trio. The interaction between the musicians is first class. Their approach comes out of the Bill Evans trio of the early 1960s, but is thoroughly contemporary. All the material, except Wayne Shorter's Black Nile, comes from within the group, and there does seem to be a strong organic relationship between composition and interpretation. Carrothers is technically very correct, but his playing has spirit, originality and emotional force. Definitely not background listening; concentration is required to hear the many subtle nuances. (Mark Gardner)

Record Collector Magazine | Charles Waring U.K.

"Another noteworthy new album led by Irish Drummer Kevin Brady"
Another noteworthy new album comes courtesy of the KEVIN BRADY TRIO. Led by the Irish composer/drummer (who’s also a member of the group, Organics) the trio has produced an engaging CD entitled Zeitgeist (**** Fresh Sound), which features American pianist, Bill Carrothers, and bassist, David Redmond. Carrothers’ beautifully limpid piano filigrees – especially on the mournfully elegant Gitchee Gumee – are a key component of the trio’s appeal, though Redmond’s and Brady’s finely nuanced contributions should not be underestimated. by Charles Waring

Michael G. Nastos | All Music Guide

" jazz fans should seek this one out and be quite pleased with the results"
Drummer Kevin Brady has languished in the Irish jazz scene as this recording done in Dublin attests, but the distinctively american aspect of the music is more prevalent thatn any fusion with jigs or reels. Due to the presence of veteran pianist Bill Carrothers, the sounds are cast in phrasings closer to Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, or Denny Zeitlin, an all-original program of poetic jazz with straight ahead bop, ballads, or contemporary jazz as the focal points.

Carrothers - a true unsung hero of modern jazz piano - puts brady and bassist Dave Redmond through the paces of the stair-step, cat-quick, neo-bop, Kenny Clarke - flavored straight bop " In the Wheelhouse" and the playful, tuneful " Homerow." But there's scheming and misdirection lurking in the deep " Out of the blue" reflecting Jarrett; the purely mysterious " Big Mouth"; and the circus-veil surrounding ' Waltz Macabre" a la Kurt Weill."

At times a Native American or spiritual quality creeps in, but the trio keeps the ghostly visage in check, even offering up a super slow version of Wayne Shorter's " Black Nile" to reaffirm the group is cognizant of past masters. Brady himself is spartan in his rhythm navigating, aware that Carrothers is being given complete freedom to weave in and out as he pleases melodically. A sleeper of an album, jazz fans should seek this one out and be quite pleased with the results. -
 Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide ****
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