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Dahveed Behroozi - Echos (Sunnyside)

7 June 2021

Bay area pianist Dahveed Behroozi has long split his time between jazz and classical music, and it shows on his second album Echos. That doesn’t mean he’s doing swinging versions of top 40 classical hits – especially since his classical influences include the like of avant-garde composer Morton Feldman. But it does mean that he borrows freely from the harmonic traditions of both to zero in on his own sound, aided here by practice and gig partners Thomas Morgan on the bass and Billy Mintz on the drums. The tune “Gilroy,” for example, finds Behroozi applying a classical attack to the keyboard, with droning chords and rippling flourishes. But the way Morgan and Mintz’s busy rhythms percolate beneath the leader’s work keeps the track from being anything but jazz. “Sendoff,” meanwhile, dives right into the free jazz pool, but with enough majestic harmonies to make the classical influence obvious. A beautiful highlight, “Royal Star” weaves in Behroozi’s classical technique subtly, letting Morgan take the lead and Mintz’s smoky brushwork drive the ballad. “TDB,” “Chimes” (which appears twice) and “Imagery” go for a chamber jazz aesthetic, not unlike the best of ECM Records. Jazz fans looking for a finger-snappin’ good time may not get this, but folks who grok what Behroozi is thinking will find K_Echos_ to be a delight.