At times living in the shadow of brother Walt, pianist Joel Weiskopf is a serious jazz pianist with an individualistic style that is an amalgam of a great number of influences from American jazz to Brazilian samba. His third date for Criss Cross finds him returning to the trio format of his debut set for the label a few years back. This time around he brings along for the ride two vital members of Wayne Shorter’s current quartet, namely bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade.
All of the pieces on the hour-long set are Weiskopf originals with titles that allude to the pianist’s strong sense of spirituality. Very much steeped in the McCoy Tyner tradition, Weiskopf speaks with a bell-like tone and a sense of clarity in his solos that is simply remarkable. Post bop sensibilities are at the heart of most of the pieces here, but particularly distinctive is "Righteousness, Peace, and Joy" with its funky beat and in-the-pocket feel. Patitucci lets loose with one of his best solos on this one and Blade keeps everything on the up and up. Other highlights include a heartfelt "Song For My Grandmother" and the shifting accents of "Day of Rejoicing." A mature and advanced player of considerable talents, Weiskopf is at his best here on this most rewarding trio effort. Hopefully it’s one that will bring him even more name recognition.