ALBUM REVIEW: Piano man comes out of the shadows to strike his note

PIANO MAN: Gabriel Latchin whose debut album, Introducing Gabriel Latchin Trio, is out on the Alys Jazz label from September 1. Photo supplied by Pomona UK.

Introducing Gabriel Latchin TrioAlys JazzOut on Friday, September 1

A good question for anyone who interviews jazz pianist Gabriel Latchin is to ask him whether his debut album is partly inspired by words from Billy Joel’s 1973 song Piano Man.

The words are “We’re all in the mood for a melody and you’ve got us feeling alright”.

Clearly influenced by jazz greats such as Miles Davis, Oscar Peterson and Charlie Parker, Gabriel’s debut positively oozes with visions of a smoke-filled liquor bar in downtown Chicago, Baltimore or Detroit.

The trio in the album title refers to Gabriel’s collaboration with bass player Tom Farmer and drummer Josh Morrison, particularly strong on the tracks Carlora, Lush Life and Blues for Billy, dedicated to American jazz drummer Billy Higgins.

But there is also room for Gabriel’s own keyboard talents on the reworked Isham Jones and Gus Kahn classic, It Had To Be You, sung in the past by the likes of Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Harry Connick Junior.

The same Hollywood theme is apparent on If I Only Had A Brain which even children can associate with the Scarecrow’s wish in The Wizard of Oz.

A soothing and confident debut by a smooth pianist, Gabriel Latchin who will officially launch his album at PizzaExpress Jazz Club in London’s Soho district on Monday, September 18, from 8.30pm.

However, the album is released to the public this Friday and will be available on Amazon, iTunes and Spotify.

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