By Bill Milkowski | Published October 2019
Pianist-composer Jamie Saft invokes latter-day John Coltrane on Hidden Corners, an arresting acoustic quartet session that opens with the modal meditation “Positive Way.”
For the waltz-time “Yesternight,” a piece almost mirroring Trane’s take on “My Favorite Things,” Dave Liebman resorts to his trusty soprano saxophone, while on the exotic “231 Gates,” he pulls out his favorite little wooden flute. Drummer Hamid Drake’s loosely swinging touch and Bradley Christopher Jones’ steady walking bass pulse fuel the bluesy title track, which features potent tenor blowing by Liebman along with an outstanding solo from the bassist and some of Saft’s most expressive playing of the session.
For “The Anteroom,” Liebman creates a bucolic setting with his folkloric flute as Drake underscores with light brushwork. The kinetic closer, “Landrace,” has the reedist nonchalantly double-timing the swinging pulse and reaching for the stratosphere on soprano.
By relying on Liebman’s uninhibited, searching quality across the recording, Saft achieves what is easily his most inspired and rewarding album to date.
Hidden Corners: Positive Way; Seven Are Double; Yesternight; 231 Gates; Turn At Every Moment; Hidden Corners; The Anteroom; Landrace (44:46).
Personnel: Jamie Saft, piano; Dave Liebman, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; Bradley Christopher Jones, bass; Hamid Drake, drums.