Pianist David Leonhardt and his respective band-mates have performed and recorded with some of the finest jazz musicians in the business, and it’s no wonder that they would be called upon by numerous jazz artists after listening to this polished and nicely-flowing trio set, where Leonhardt steers the unit through standards and pop/rock favorites.
The musicians generate dynamics while tempering the various currents when required. For example, on the pianist’s comp "Whispers of Contentment - Shouts of Joy," the trio renders gradually ascending choruses, abetted by Leonhardt’s powerful block chords and drummer Alvester Garnett’s display of rhythmic ferocity. Yet, melody is a key ingredient throughout, as the band tackles George Harrison’s "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," and Elton John’s "Your Song," with panache, and a jazzy vibe.
On James Taylor’s "Fire and Rain," Leonhardt injects jazz fills and a loose-groove motif amid lyrically resplendent phrasings, while the band also explores via an improvisational approach. However, the musicians do find time to up the ante with bluesy moments and heated workouts. In addition, Leonhardt looms as a vivid storyteller here and alters the overall tone of the album with his North African modal piece "The Dawn Over Morocco." Ultimately, it’s a superfine effort, that is topped off with an irrefutably appealing track mix and all executed with a melding of eloquence and passion.