Richard Fairhurst's Triptych - Amusia (3 stars)

Richard Fairhurst's Triptych - Amusia

(Babel Label)

Richard Fairhurst won 1994 ‘Young Jazz Pianist of the Year’, and caught the ear with a series of albums with his group Hungry Ants, but has not really made the impact that his early emergence suggested. Nonetheless, he remains an individual presence on the UK jazz scene, and this new group with Danish bassist Jasper Høiby and American drummer Chris Vatalaro offers a fine platform for his music.

The compositions are mostly Fairhurst’s (including revisiting tunes from earlier albums), but choosing Triptych as the group’s name suggests the shared responsibility and interactivity evident in the music. His trademark lyrical melodies and complex rhythmic shifts are all there, with a few excursions into a freer approach to structure and improvisation. Piano trios are plentiful at the moment, but Fairhurst and co. succeed in finding their own absorbing niche.

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