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Kevin Fort – Piano
Doug Hayes – Bass
Jon Deitemyer – Drums
Chicago pianist Kevin Fort launches his recording career with the intimate and graceful Red Gold. With it he establishes himself as a fully formed and a well-rounded musician with a unique voice. Utilizing a collaborative trio format, Fort interprets three of his intriguing originals and seven covers of standards and other jazz tunes with superb technique and refinement. At the core of the title track—written by Fort—is an engaging, easy flowing melody that he embellishes with intricately constructed yet accessible spontaneous phrases. Bassist Doug Hayes’ lithe pizzicato enhances the tune’s effervescence, while drummer Jon Deitemyer ushers in the conclusion with a thunderous and elegant solo.
Fort demonstrates facile and delightful leadership skills, allowing his sidemen ample opportunity in the spotlight. For instance, on the exuberant Fort-penned, “Coastin’ In,” the group swings hard with urbane style and seamless camaraderie. Fort’s thick rolling chords glow with warm, indigo tones, while Hayes’ conversational and subtly whimsical soliloquy delights with its eloquence. Hayes demonstrates his lyricism on the melancholic “Never Let Me Go.” The ballad evolves with charming nocturnesque flair and sophisticated interplay, peppered with Latin hints.
Elsewhere, on keyboardist Clare Fischer’s romantic and mystical “Pensativa,” Fort demonstrates his western classical influences with a complex and contemplative sonic tapestry over Hayes’ darkly hued reverberations and Deitemyer’s percolating beats. Deitemyer’s dynamic polyrhythms propel the fiery and passionate take on pianist Kenny Barron’s “Voyage.” On this dramatic piece each player showcases his individuality with thrilling virtuosity and agile, vibrant improvisations. With this enjoyable and solidly mainstream debut, Fort proves himself an accomplished artist who is equally at ease with performing and composing. Red Gold is not a supremely provocative or a trail-blazing record; it is, however, quietly cohesive and inviting work with a tastefully understated creativity that should have a wide appeal.
By: Hrayr Attarian