When it comes to New York’s top-shelf gigs, few pianists get the job done like David Hazeltine. Much sought for his sensitivity as an accompanist, Hazeltine is also an inventive composer and arranger who is able to bring a fresh approach to the mainstream. For his eighth set as a leader for Criss Cross, the pianist brings his talents to the fore with three originals, including a dedicatory For Cedar. Rounding out the set are a few select standards including a new twist on Dizzy Gillespie’s Tin Tin Deo.
…This, and the other Chesky 'New York Sessions' must count as one of the finest modern (in the sence of recent) jazz efforts on SA-CD.
When it comes to New York’s top-shelf gigs, few pianists get the job done like David Hazeltine. Much sought for his sensitivity as an accompanist, Hazeltine is also an inventive composer and arranger who is able to bring a fresh approach to the mainstream.
Jazz pianist David Hazeltine was born and raised in Milwaukee, making his professional debut at age 13 and going on to gig extensively in Chicago and Minneapolis as well. Serving as the house pianist at the Milwaukee Jazz Gallery, he backed luminaries including Eddie Harris, Sonny Stitt and Chet Baker, the latter encouraging Hazeltine to further pursue his career by relocating to New York City; arriving there in 1992, he formed his own trio with drummer Louis Hayes and bassist Peter Washington, additionally serving as musical director for Marlena Shaw and playing with Slide Hampton's Jazz Masters Big Band as well as the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band. With tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, Hazeltine also helmed the group One for All; as a headliner, he made his debut in 1995 with Four Flights Up, followed two years later by The Classic Trio. He resurfaced in 1998 with How It Is, issuing The World for Her the next year. Blues Quarters, Vol. 1 was released in August 2000. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide
…On this disc, the quartet plays nine compositions by Ellington and Strayhorn. The interpretations are dominated by the full warm tenor sound of Javon Jackson who is a fantastic young sax man, playing in the Ben Webster tradition here. He is accompanied by the great Mr. Hazeltine, who is the musical director of the record and plays some nice solos, too. Bass and drums are played skilfully, relaxed and with deep feeling by the other two perfect sidemen. Very pleasing and relaxed, that`s the mood of the record, that every jazz fan will like.