of a gifted jazz musician ensures that the tradition of this
great art form is destined to continue well into the 21st
century. jonathan katz is such a musician.
years ago while touring Japan with the Milt Jackson Quartet
I was introduced to an interesting gentleman whose thoughtful,
articulate manner displayed a maturity beyond his chronological
age. In addition to his mastery of the Japanese language and
customs, I soon discovered that his musical prowess was quite
music on this CD, Jonathan displays a strong intellect and
sensitivity as well as a range of compositions that are both
challenging and accessible to the listener. Jonathan has distinguished
himself here with a dynamic rhythm section featuring Peter
Washington, arguably the most recorded bassist in contemporary
jazz, and Yoron Israel, whose performances with Ahmad Jamal,
Joe Lovano and my current group, ICU, have established him
as one of the most sought-after drummers of his generation.
point of this trio recital is Jonathan's sparkling performances,
choice of selections and clear, well-crafted arrangements.
His playing is deeply rooted in the style of Bill Evans, along
with the diverse influences of Monty Alexander, Tommy Flanagan,
Wynton Kelly, Herbie Hancock and Cedar Walton. His imagination
and skills are up to the challenge he's established for himself
and the trio -- his ideas are crystalline with close-stitched
rhythms and taut interlacing of harmonies which are effective
without sacrificing his strong lyrical melodies. Note the
clever devices and ideas Jonathan has conceived to deliver
a fresh approach to well-documented standards such as On Green
Dolphin Street, Invitation, Angel Eyes, All in Love is Fair
and You Don't Know What Love Is. These vehicles allow the
trio's members to be individually expressive and at the same
time serve as a springboard for Jonathan's improvisatory excursions.
original compositions presented here are noteworthy. Each
has its own personality and Jonathan never belabors or constrains
the shape of the melody or rhythm. Wendigo is perhaps my favorite
of this collection because of its reflective moods, the unpredictability
and suppleness of the melody, which stretches the line and
harmonies over, under and through the rhythmic framework.
more presents an important chapter in Jonathan's musical career.
The confidence, poise and enthusiasm is a sure sign that an
important voice is waiting in the wings. Thus when opportunity
presents itself, the call will be answered by someone who
is well-prepared, energetic and focused; that someone is Jonathan
New York City
May 30, 1998