It is said that good thing come to those who wait, so as good as Swiss pianist Moncef Genoud's latest CD Aqua is, the two years between its 2004 recording date and its recent U.S. release on Savoy Jazz doesn't seem like such a terribly long period of time. The nimble and imaginative player is joined on this date by a fine group that includes bassist Scott Colley and drummer Bill Stewart, with Dee Dee Bridgewater and Michael Brecker also appearing on one and three tracks, respectively.
Genoud's style is creatively expansive, alternately stately and impressionistic, recalling Bill Evans at times in its flowing expressiveness. The set mostly consists of Genoud's ambitious originals, with a handful of standards thrown in. "Summertime" gets an interesting reading, partially deconstructed but with the tune's natural beauty left unmarred; Coltrane's "Moment's Notice" is given a nuanced turn with an unusual spatial approach, and Ms. Bridgewater helps close the date with a shimmering vocal on a gorgeously rendered "Lush Life."
Brecker, the recording's other guest, tailors his performances well to the prevailing mood of each piece he graces. His saxophone flexes some muscle on the title track, but flows smoothly on the pretty "Lovely Vij," and he varies both techniques on the complex "Mix of Keys."
Aqua is an enjoyable CD for fans of piano trio jazz. Genoud the composer writes with fair complexity, but his playing seems to streamline it a bit. The result is a very listenable disc with some real depth.