Kevin Hays Trio: Sweet And Lovely


Sweet And Lovely


Kevin Hays (piano)


You've Got A Friend (Jazz Eyes 006)

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Kevin Hays (piano), Bill Stewart (drums), Doug Weiss (bass).

Composed by Gus Arnheim, Charles Daniels & Harry Tobias


Recorded: Brooklyn, NY, May 2, 2007


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

There is something very appealing about Kevin Hays’ approach to piano improvisation. His work is unique, interesting and varied. He has assembled a trio of like-minded musicians that— when the stars align— can produce some very special moments in music.

On the ever-enchanting “Sweet and Lovely,” Hays, Weiss and Stewart are in their own musical sweet spot. The intro is poignantly played at a slow brooding tempo by a pensive Hays, with Weiss alternating between bellowing arco lines and sparse pizzicato. All the while, the ever-kinetic Stewart pulls precise sounds from his sticks and cymbals that are beautifully subdued—perfectly complimentary to what his two band mates are playing.

A little over two minutes into the song, Hays and company take it up a notch in tempo. Hays varies his attack with creative flourishes that gush in unexpected and delightful ways. Weiss and Stewart lay down the concrete foundation of rhythm for Hays to build on, as his ideas seem to be erected in an erupting fashion before he returns to a reflective mood at the coda. Stewart’s use of cymbals is astounding and effective. He has developed an unbelievable variety to the sounds he can elicit from the metal and wood in his kit. The result is a thoroughly enjoyable rendition. Add the Kevin Hays Trio to your short list of bona fide masters of the piano trio format.

Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello

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