Mike Madriaga 1:14 p.m., Feb. 19
Keezer: solo at the Saville
Pianist Geoffrey Keezer pretty much knocked it out of the park with a wide-ranging, very dynamic performance.
Piano virtuoso Geoffrey Keezer dropped in to Jazz Live ( the excellent series produced by Jazz 88.3) on April 9, performing a rare, local solo concert that was also being recorded for an upcoming DVD.
Opening with "Bag's Groove," Keezer managed to suggest both Art Tatum and Mc Coy Tyner in the same chorus-- moving on to intense right-hand trilling and propulsive walking in the left. Scenes shifted constantly as the pianist seemed to navigate through a sizable chunk of jazz history.
Interpreting K.T Tundstall's "Suddenly I See," was an odd choice I thought, but after filtering it through a Brazilian, then Coltrane vibe, what little I could recognize of the tune took on an entirely different aesthetic.
A rhapsodic cloud of harmonies led off Peter Gabriel's "Come Talk To Me," arranged in a highly personal dynamic -- spiked with a rippling undercurrent of very precise rhythmic articulations.
Keezer broke "Lush Life," into a series of resonant fragments, magnifying specific components with lush rubato and taking others on a dizzying voyage of chromatic velocity.
There were delicate moments like his rumination on "My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose," and instances of pure alacrity typified by his startling, triple-time romp through Wayne Shorter's "Footprints," which threatened to explode.
The pianist invited painter Billy Martinez to the stage as the two collaborated by creating simultaneous art in the moment. Because it was based on the painter's movement, brush-strokes and emerging images, this performance probably demonstrated the widest view of Keezer's considerable imagination as the piece wandered from tinkling harmonies to episodic melodic development.
One of my favorite moments came on his interpretation of a Hawaiian standard "Wahine Hololio," which established a hypnotic groove layered with gauzy harmonies, bluesy trills and shifting ostinati.
He closed out the concert with an ecstatic romp on "Take The Coltrane," expanding the jittery theme into kinetic vignettes that swung like crazy, including rollicking bass-lines and lightening strike forays with the right.
Photo by Barbara Wise