By Bobby Reed | Published December 2016
Pianist Martin Bejerano, who is an assistant professor at the University of Miami’s prestigious Frost School of Music, showcases the fluidity of his playing on a new trio album recorded with bassist Josh Allen and drummer Michael Piolet. The trio offers six of Bejerano’s original compositions, along with three interpretations, including a clever version of “Airegin” (the Sonny Rollins composition that was the lead track on Miles Davis’ 1954 Prestige release Miles Davis With Sonny Rollins). Bejerano—the recipient of a Chamber Music America grant in 2010—is adept at constructing sturdy, mini suites that allow enough space for intriguing flights of improvisation. He composed the short, lovely “Entrance To Eden,” using it as a preface to his trio’s adventurous reading of pop icon Peter Gabriel’s tune “Blood Of Eden.” This rendition is a compelling example of the trio’s sense of journey. Elsewhere, the original tune “Old School” gives Allen and Piolet room to show off their chops, as the interplay between the three bandmates generates some fiery, exciting exchanges. “Last Happy Hour (For Pops)” is spiced with a driving, deeply melodic bass passage from Allen, while “Disturbing Behavior” becomes a showcase for Piolet’s athleticism. Bejerano concludes the program in satisfying fashion, with a gorgeous reading of the standard “More Than You Know.” Tour dates posted on Bejerano’s website include Festival Miami on Jan. 26 and Florida’s St. Petersburgh Jazz Festival on Feb. 23.