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Album review: 'Infinite Distances'

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Noah Haidu

"Infinite Distances"

Cellar Live

noahhaidu.com

After studying with Kenny Barron at Rutgers University, pianist Noah Haidu honed his skills on the jazz scenes of Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Queens. It paid off when his reputation led to work with top players like Mike Stern, Benny Golson, and Eddie Henderson. His latest album, "Infinite Distances" — featuring a suite based on ideas about relationships, loss, and self-realization, inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke — not only showcases Haidu's keyboard prowess, it also further solidifies his roles as a composer and bandleader.

One of the most distinctive characteristics of Haidu's latest album is how much of a group effort it is. There are superb solos at every turn, and the voicings of horn charts — with Sharel Cassity and Jon Irabagon on saxophones, and Jeremy Pelt on trumpet and flugelhorn — are as fresh as they are quirky. The album is full of intricate yet engaging melodies, from beautiful ballads (the title tune) to up-tempo bursts of energy like the appropriately named "Momentum." Also contributing greatly are John Davis and Mark Ferber on drums, and Peter Brendler and Ariel Alejandro de la Portilla on bass.

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