Gerard locks effortlessly with his trio mates, Jay Anderson and Jeff Hirschfield. They’re one of the classic bass-drum duos in jazz, recorded on a hundred plus discs. As for Gerard, jazz greats like Nat Adderly, Zoot Sims, Mel Lewis and Red Rodney all loved his selfless accompaniment and his endlessly enchanting, melodic solos. Another deep admirer, Mapleshade’s resident piano great Larry Willis, brought Gerard here—and produced the session for him. The trio sounds lusciously life-like: rich piano overtones, clear woody bass, and the delicate brassy zing of the cymbals are right there.
1. Who's Kidding Who?
2.No Turn On Red
3. Heavy Blue
5. I'll Take The Romance -Listen to Sample
6. One Shot Deal
7. La Paradida
8. Ballad For Frederick -Listen to Full Song
9. Freshwater Girls
10. Funkalero -Listen to Sample
11 Mary's Secret
12. Not What My Hands Have Done
Pianist Bill Evans' influence has been seemingly endless in the jazz world; his pianism has affected everyone from Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett to Alan Broadbent and Fred Hersch. Evans' smartest admirers knew what to do with that influence — instead of being a mindless imitator, they developed something personal and recognizable. That is true of Corea, Jarrett, and other above mentioned pianists; it is also true of Gerard D'Angelo, who has been around the New York jazz scene since the 1970s, but had yet to become well known when the 21st century rolled around. Recorded in 1993 but not released until 2001, Not What My Hands Have Done offers pleasing evidence of D'Angelo's individuality. Evans' crystalline, clean-sounding approach to the piano has obviously had an impact on D'Angelo's playing; that is evident whether he turns his attention to the standard "I'll Take Romance," Ravel's "Forlane," or various pieces by fellow pianist Gary Dial (who is also an Evans admirer). But Evans is hardly D'Angelo's only influence; the New Yorker gives the impression that he also appreciates everyone from Keith Jarrett to Ahmad Jamal to early Herbie Hancock — specifically, the young Hancock of the 1960s, who provided acoustic straight-ahead post-bop for Blue Note in his pre-fusion days. Ultimately, D'Angelo comes across as a musician who values and admires his influences but isn't a slave to them. Not What My Hands Have Done is an ironic title for this introspective yet swinging trio date, which employs Jay Anderson on upright bass and Jeff Hirschfield on drums. After all, D'Angelo's hands have enabled him to deliver a memorable album — one that makes listeners wish he had done a lot more recording in the 1990s. -Alex Henderson
This album recorded in May of 1993 has finally emerged from the Mapleshade label's vaults to be released eight years later in 2001. Why it took so long to see the light of day is a puzzler. Brooklyn born pianist Gerard D'Angelo has been on the jazz scene since 1988 when he teamed with Dave Meade and Frank Wagoner to form Primary Colors. He made an album or two with the group. But until this release, D'Angelo has been pretty much a stranger to recording studios. Although he was a student of one of the leaders of modern jazz piano, D'Angelo shows the influence of many who have gone before him, from Bill Evans through Chick Corea to Keith Jarrett. He is also a follower of another modernist, Gary Dial, whom D'Angelo honors by including four of his compositions on the play list. D'Angelo is a mainly quiet player, introspective and giving the impression that a good deal of thought has gone into every note he strikes. This attitude permeates the session which lasts for a little more than an hour. Even on up tempo pieces such as Dial's "Funkalero", there is a delicacy present to make sure that while the group swings, it doesn't swing out of control. A state of calmness also sways the contributions of bass player Jay Anderson and Jeff Hirshfield's drums on this cut. One of the most engaging pieces coming from the session is the trio's take on Maurice Ravel's "Forlane". Playing with that luminous precision which seemed to characterize Ravel's music (as well as his own work on piano), this is a tour de force track. "I'll Take Romance" as much as any of the cuts on the album, recalls Bill Evans' seminal trios of the 1960's. Based on this effort, one hopes this doesn't fall into the category as the title of one of the songs on the program, a "One Shot Deal". -Dave Nathan