LIVE: JDT @ Caffe Lena, 10/21/09

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JDT (aka, the Jason Domnarski Trio) isn’t your father’s typical jazz piano trio, ala Bill Evans or Cedar Walton. Yes, there are rich piano harmonies with bass and drum accompaniment, but this group brings it into the 21st century by way of inventive electronic effects and brilliant compositional interludes.

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Although he’s only in his early 20s, pianist-composer and Skidmore College grad Jason Domnarski certainly knows his way around the keyboard and effortlessly plays with the maturity of a pianist twice his age. Electric bassist Aaron Nevezie and drummer Dave Mason complete the line up with intuitive and sublime accompaniment.

Wednesday’s performance at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs was part of the coffeehouse’s long-running, mid-week “Emerging Artists” series. Brooklyn-based Domnarski has played annual performances at such pretigious NYC venues as the Blue Note and Jazz Standard, among others, so you might imagine that Caffe Lena may not be a big deal for him. But you’d be wrong. “I love playing here,” the pianist declared. “The history of the venue and the intimacy of the club are great. I love being a part of it.”

The evening’s repertoire leaned heavily towards the JDT’s sophomore album, “Inventing The Wheel” on Ropeadope Records, a collection of rich classically-tinged jazz, with inventive piano playing atop a foundation of superb bass and drums.

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

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