Yaniv Taubenhouse is a prodigiously-gifted pianist who is also developing into a composer. Although his own repertoire is relatively small, being young and still searching for a voice that will ultimately set him apart from his peers, he is moving fast in the direction that will almost certainly get him there. Mr Taubenhouse’s music is melodically spare – not buzzing with too many notes – and it is meditative in a kind of intimate way that is characterised by a muted serenity that makes them almost seem like private devotion. You can tell that he is an obsessive perfectionist often sounding the same or similar notes in a phrase with varying dynamics as if searching for the precise tone to express the emotion he is feeling; the exact one that he wants you to experience.
The original compositions and the standard works (whether ones you are accustomed to listening to or others that are perhaps sparingly played) on Perpetuation have been polished into gleaming gems by Mr Taubenhouse. The song “Fairytale” consists of a recurring figure that is played throughout. But every time it reappears it is altered melodically and harmonically. It is rhythmically complex and seems to offer a commentary on the opening song “Perpetuation” at least conceptually. However, if you think that Mr Taubenhouse is only fascinated by odd metres and challenging rhythms perish the thought.
The pianist’s treatment of standards is beautifully simple and it follows the line of the originals. The exception is Chico Buarque’s mesmerising homage to the greats of Brasilian music, “Paratodos”, which bassist Rick Rosato has adapted by adding rhythmic and harmonic elements to the work in a manner that make it intricately new while retaining the magic of Mr Buarque’s original.
As a pianist Mr Taubenhouse is superbly eloquent . His tone and manner enables him to get under the skin of the long-limbed melancholy of this music, performing wit with a lovely flexible sense of timing. The pianist floats beautifully exquisitely limpid lines in the graceful, harmonic and rhythmic conversations with Mr Rosato and drummer Jerad Lippi; all of whom together allow this music effortlessly to unfold. The always sensitive bassist brings his velvety sound to the repertoire – especially enjoyable on “Ilaria”. Mr Lippi is warmly spontaneous and unleashes ardent rhythmic figures to complement the melodies and harmonies without fuss.
Together this trio parleys with the familiarity of old friends, yet their playing always retains its sense of gracious etiquette associated with a certain nobility of great trio music. Nothing is forced or exaggerated or overly mannered’ tempos, ensemble and balance – all seem effortless and intuitively right. All this makes for sincere and poised accounts of the music contained in this recording.
Track list – 1: Perpetuation; 2: On the Street Where You Live; 3: Fairytale; 4: Paris; 5: Introspection; 6: Pigeon House Blues; 7: Brother Can You Spare a Dime; 8: Paratodos; 9: Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye; 10: Ilaria
Personnel – Yaniv Taubenhouse: piano; Rick Rosato: contrabass; Jerad Lippi: drums
Released – 2019
Label – Fresh Sound New Talent (FSNT 567)
Runtime – 1:04:51