There are many frighteningly-gifted pianists in music today but on evidence of just this one disc (Trio Miami) alone, it is worth re-assessing how many of them come closer to the summit of perfection in pianoforte than Martin Bejerano. In fact, one might go even further and posit that Bejerano might easily have created an altogether new height to that mythical pinnacle itself by depositing some of that magic dust upon it as only someone of his genius is capable of doing. So lofty is this pianism that should Bejerano continue to provoke a jealous God with such perfection he might die young. Of course, I write as I speak: without a forked tongue, offering some sage advice to ‘let some imperfection show’ forthwith. This, of course, is unlikely to take place – certainly not in the hour or so of this recording.
One is not sure of any digital editing that might have taken place to create such a perfect specimen of a disc. It would appear from an ear so trained as mine that there are no ‘digital’ edits; no ProTools to speak of in what seems like an expertly engineered recording on a well-tuned piano, with equal attention paid to the tone colours of Josh Allen’s bass and the percussion palette of Michael Piolet’s drums. More importantly, however, to the riveting sounds and silences of the palpitating heart of this music, Martin Bejerano, Allen and Piolet have added the hushed whispers of their souls. The pianist constantly reminds the listener that he or she is in a sainted presence. So whether it is the Liszt-like ferocity of “The Reckoning Song” or in his proverbial doffing of the hat to Ornette Coleman in “Blues Evolution” – a very cheeky take on the changes of Coleman’s “Blues Connotation” incidentally, the pianist is constantly present in the perfect storm of this music. Allen basks in the heat of the spotlight every once and awhile, but especially about halfway into “Last Happy Hour” and Michael Piolet takes his chances on “Disturbing Behavior”.
Perhaps the most defining musical moments come on the five minutes and twenty-four seconds of Vincent Youmans’, Billy Rose’s and Edward Eliscu’s “More Than You Know”, which is dedicated to the pianist’s love, Sherl. The 1929 piece might as well have been dedicated, as it stands, to Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, or to other – especially vocal – versions of the song. The key operative word here is ‘song’, for it is in the ethereal beauty of the almost naked melodic line played by Martin Bejerano that the poetic lyric-line of the song come alive. ‘Singing’ the song as he phrases it with the eerie vocalastics of the human voice Bejerano conjures a kind of holographic image of Holiday as if she were singing the words to Lester Young, at last to reciprocate the saxophonist’s undying love for her. Ever so gently, however, you are awakened from this aching, soul-stirring, dream-like state as Martin Bejerano repeats the swerving, angular triplet that he uses to close the chorus line…
Track List: The Reckoning Song; Entrance To Eden; Blood Of Eden; Airegin; Old School; Last Happy Hour (For Pops); Blues Evolution; Disturbing Behavior; More The You Know (For Sherl).
Personnel: Martin Bejerano: piano; Josh Allen: bass; Michael Piolet: drums.