Jazz piano player Taurey Butler has been compared to Oscar Peterson. If you pay close attention to Butler’s new self-titled album, which Justin Time released last week, you will conclude piano player Cyrus Chestnut had a bigger influence on Butler. His world premier is like Chestnut’s early albums “Revelation,” “The Dark Before the Dawn,” and “Earth Stories”. Butler sounds as if he used those albums as guideposts. Like Chestnut, Butler can play beautifully and rambunctiously. He's comfortable with gospel and the blues. Butler raises hell throughout the album, particularly on “Please Send Me Somebody to Love” and “Preacher”.
The upside of bass player Andrea Veneziani hiring piano player Kenny Werner to play on his first album “OLTREOCEANO” is Werner brings a craftsman’s touch to every song. Werner is a prodigious piano player with a ton of frequent-flier miles, and he can unconsciously bogart a session, which he does on “OLTREOCEANO”. Veneziani is a wonderful bass player, and he has history with Werner. He was Werner's pupil, and their camaraderie is apparent on “Night Flight” and “Time Remembered”. Veneziani gives a glimpse of his virtuosity on "Free Episodes#1," but overall, Veneziani behaves like a sidekick instead of the leader. He allows Werner to bogart the session.