Noah Haidu

Slowly: Song For Keith Jarrett
(Sunnyside Records)

On Slowly: Song For Keith Jarrett, pianist Noah Haidu, with bassist Buster Williams and drummer Billy Hart, pays heartfelt tribute to the jazz legend’s quintessential Standards Trio with drummer Jack DeJohnette and the late bassist Gary Peacock.

The tribute is fueled by Haidu’s appreciation of Jarrett’s lyrical solo piano approach and the trio’s organic style of collaboration. There are personal impetuses, too, including Haidu’s tradition of seeing Jarrett live with his father (who passed away only weeks before Jarrett’s final performance in 2016), and the breakup of his marriage.

Slowly is bittersweet as Haidu considers emotional endings within his musical celebration. In many cases, this side-by-side consideration appears quite literal, as on the track “Rainbow/Keith Jarrett,” which merges Jarrett’s late-’70s waltz with a joyous ode written by Haidu.

Along with several Haidu originals, Slowly features originals from Williams and Hart. The trio also does careful justice to the standards “Georgia,” “What A Difference A Day Makes” and “But Beautiful.”

While he bolsters emotional moments, Haidu does tend to rush the time feel at times. Still, Slowly is a work of stunning execution and heart.