Kait Dunton: Phase/Faze




Kait Dunton (piano)


Real & Imagined

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Kait Dunton (piano), Daniel Foose (bass), Ross Pederson (drums).

Composed by Kait Dunton


Recorded: Panhandle House, Denton, Texas, February 21-22, 2008


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Look at that lineup. I know what you're thinking. Piano trio. You would be wrong. Yeah, that's OK. Years and years of trios have conditioned you to have that jazz/Pavlovian response. Despite counterexamples such as Bred Mehldau or maybe even The Bad Plus, it's a tough habit to shake.

Well, with “Phase/Faze,” pianist/composer Kait Dunton breathes new life into the form. Given the song's big blocky & circular opening chords and thunderous drumming, I was reminded of Bruce Hornsby circa Harbor Lights. This composition though, goes far beyond a pop song's verse/chorus structure. There are several interconnected segments that take source material from the previous “phase.” The overall effect is of one long story story being told. I especially dug the four-chord repeats that Dunton pulled out of shape slightly to build a little tension before the next release.

Yes, no ordinary trio, so the bassist and drummer moved far outside the traditional timekeeper/swing shepherd roles. Daniel Foose and Ross Pederson. Sure, they push the swing, but they also spin around, underneath and above the piano in ways not often heard in this format. I'm tellin' you, outside of Roy Haynes, Mr. Pederson is the master of the snazzy & subtle use of the rim.

Not long ago, I made the statement that Mikkel Ploug's Equilibrium was my favorite record of the year so far. Add Kait Dunton's Real & Imagined to the list.

Reviewer: Mark Saleski

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  • 1 Elise // Apr 20, 2009 at 12:18 AM
    hey Mark, Im a follower of the site, and I downloaded Kaits Phase/Faze song to see if she was as good as you say, and I lovedd it! So I downloaded more and I really liked the Real & Imagined song. Who knew this much talent would come out of Denton texas! Thanks for the tip
  • 2 Emily // Apr 20, 2009 at 01:13 AM
    Hi Mark, thanks for this great review! I was already lucky enough to own Kait's album and am glad to see it getting the credit it deserves! I (in addition to Elise) highly recommend the track "Real & Imagined" on the album. It is more ethereal and contemplative than "Phase/Faze" in the opening section, with lots of rubato and soft cymbal brushes in the background, then builds to a cyclical melody with more and more texture overlaid. GORGEOUS!
  • 3 laura // Apr 20, 2009 at 03:49 PM
    Amazing! The sound is fantastic and the one of the smartest pieces I have ever heard! Excellent.
  • 4 Carlos // May 08, 2009 at 11:11 AM
    Hola - thanks for the review! Love the music!