WBGO Radar

David Hazeltine: For All We Know

David Hazeltine's CD For All We Know

David Hazeltine's musical mantra is a simple one: swing as much as humanly possible. That makes the pianist's new album, For All We Know,  a great live date.

Captured live at the Smoke jazz club on New York’s Upper West Side, the album pairs the pianist with saxophonist Seamus Blake for the first time, along with longtime friends and collaborators David Williams on bass and drummer Joe Farnsworth.

Hazeltine is steeped in a musical sense memory which began in his teenage years, when he wa house pianist at the Jazz Gallery in Milwaukee, working with the likes of Sonny Stitt, Eddie Harris and Chet Baker.

Since coming to New York a little over two decades ago, David has been a featured player with Louis Hayes, Ernestine Anderson, Jon Faddis and Marlena Shaw.

Hazeltine now has over 25 recordings as leader, and has recorded tributes along the way to Bill Evans, Horace Silver and Bud Powell, and he is a proud member of the collective One For All.

“Et Cedra,” the album’s opener, is a nod to legendary pianist Cedar Walton, and contains what David calls "a few Waltonian ideas". Walton's enormous influence on music is apparent throughout.

“My Ship” is also a Cedarized standard, with Blake's sax work providing a new look for this outfit.

“Pooh” and “Lord Walton,” two more originals from the leader, continue the celebration and tribute.

David wrote “Eddie Harris” in the back of a car traveling to a record date for One For All.

David's choice here to include the Charlie Parker tune “Cheryl” was inspired from the first time he heard the tune, from Cedar Walton's great live album Live At Boomer's.

There's a nice feel on “Imagination,” which Dave cites as a favorite, having played it many nights with Marlena Shaw.

The use of the title track has special relevance for the pianist, as he relates to Cedar's sudden passing.

For All We Know comes out April 8. For all we know, the musical comraderie heard here promises to bring much more worth knowing from this foursome.

  - Gary Walker, WBGO music director

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