Moments in Trio · Vol. 3 Roads
  • Yaniv Taubenhouse
    Yaniv Taubenhouse

Yaniv Taubenhouse

Moments in Trio · Vol. 3 Roads

Fresh Sound New Talent

Yaniv Taubenhouse (p), Rick Rosato (b), Jerad Lippi (d)

Reference: FSNT-612

Bar code: 8427328436120

Life is filled with crossroads, some more significant than others, although their impact on the grand scheme of things is not always revealed right from the get-go. It is evident when a major turning point is on the horizon, like relocating to a new place or facing a critical career decision. On the other hand, some crossroads might initially seem more mundane, such as where to go out for dinner or which path to take on an afternoon stroll through the park. But even a trivial decision could potentially lead to a meaningful encounter or create a certain opportunity that otherwise would not have occurred. That’s why every life intersection might be significant, but we can only possibly understand and appreciate its significance in retrospect. As habitual creatures, humans naturally follow routines, but even when we pursue a path we’ve already taken before, our experience is going to be slightly different as we are never exactly the same nor is our environment or surroundings.

The roads artists take affect their creative process, but it’s the creative journey itself that often leads artists to their path, so which came first: the chicken or the egg? Even when artists have clear visions and aspirations, the roads to them can be hazy, or sometimes the roads might be clear, but the destination is not. Although we think we might know which path to follow to a specific destination, we often end up in a completely different place as the artist's goal or vision is continually shaped by his/her experiences along the way [...]

—Yaniv Taubenhouse (Taken from the inside liner notes)

01. Blue Forest 7:39
02. Rush Hour Traffic 7:30
03. Prayer 10:11
04. You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To 4:20
05. Sailing Over The Horizon 5:53
06. Morning Night 8:55
07. Boo Boo's Birthday 6:42
08. Flow 8:12
09. Star Eyes 8:00
10. Roads 5:46

Album details

All tracks composed by Yaniv Taubenhouse, except #4 by Cole Porter, #7 by Thelonious Monk, and #9 by Gene De Paul & Don Raye.

All tracks arranged by Yaniv Taubenhouse (ASCAP)

Yaniv Taubenhouse (piano), Rick Rosato (bass), Jerad Lippi (drums).
Recorded at Sear Sound Studios, New York City, January 14, 2020

Sound engineer: Robert L. Smith
Assisted by Owen Mulholland
Mixed by Robert L. Smith at Defy Recordings, New York City
Mastered by Pieter De Wagter at Equus Studio, Bruxelles, Belgium
Photos by dan Balilty
Design: Rafa Ross

Produced by Yaniv Taubenhouse
Executive Producer: Jordi Pujol
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas S.L.

Press reviews

"Conjured through this trio’s acute mutual sensitivity, an ebb and flow arise over the course of these ten tracks so that the musicianship turns deeply stirring by its conclusion. Transitions from track to track and within individual cuts are virtually imperceptible, thus conjuring radiant tranquility that belies radiates from Roads’ meticulous activity. The leader’s eloquent liner notes in the enclosed booklet are only the most obvious indication of how much thorough preparation went into the recording of this striking album."

—Doug Collette (May 24, 2022)

"Sophisticated and confident, the musicians offer us a set of original pieces and some standard pieces that are tastefully approached, with subtle transitions from one state to another, in an admirable aesthetic unity. Regardless of Yaniv Taubenhouse's future decisions, this trio will continue to be his main vehicle with which to continue his exploration, to push the limits, cultivating a language that becomes more fluid with each album."

—Radio România (June, 2021)

"Like so many musicians from Israel who have emigrated to the United States in recent years, Yaniv Taubenhouse sounds schooled. He is sophisticated in his management of melodic structures and chord changes and, especially, meters. His formalism and discipline reflect his classical training. His concept of the piano trio format is thoroughly contemporary, as he provides primary roles for his bassist (Rick Rosato) and drummer (Jerad Lippi).

Yet Taubenhouse is, above all, a seductive pianist. He pursues lavish beauty unashamedly. For him, technical elements serve emotional, spiritual, and atmospheric purposes. The opening track, “Blue Forest,” is a three-note node of melody taken through myriad variations in small steps, with gently cycling chords beneath that are gradually overtaken by Rosato’s bass. The core motif sounds like a recurring aspiration, an outreach toward hope. “Blue Forest” becomes a ritual, elegiac and hypnotic. The third track, “Prayer,” has a similar aura of incantation.

Taubenhouse can cast a spell like Abdullah Ibrahim, but his energy is edgier. “Rush Hour Traffic” (a New York song) and “Sailing Over the Horizon” vividly portray forceful movement. He is also a bold free thinker as an interpreter of standards. He plays fast and loose with Cole Porter on “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To,” starting and stopping, reharmonizing, sending Rosato scurrying through it, appending his own epilogue. Monk’s “Boo Boo’s Birthday,” in a fitting tribute to its composer, has new hits in all the “wrong” places.

Roads closes with the title track and a return to the domain of intellectual romanticism where the album began. It’s a rapt ceremony based on a simple theme closely related to “Blue Forest” and “Prayer,” but further along in the journey.

Yaniv Taubenhouse: Remember his name. His present is intriguing. His future could be more so."

—Thomas Conrad (May 25, 2021)

"Pianist Yaniv Taubenhouse leads a classy trio with bassist Rick Rosato and drummer Jerad Lippi through a mix of standards and originals. Even his covers are quite clever, having fun on a whimsical and clever read of Thelonious Monk's “Boo Boo's Birthday”, going dark with Lippi’s high hat and Rosato's lead on “Star Eyes” and giving a hint of Vince Guaraldi on a hip take of “You'd Be So Nice To Come  Home To”. His touch has a dash of classical to it, as on the graceful and pretty “Blue Forest”, and he does a nice ballet work with Lippi on “Prayer”. The unit itself works well, changing dynamics and grooves on “Rush Hour Traffic” and going urgent as they scramble around “Roads”. Nice interplay and soloing."

—George W. Harris (May 20, 2021)

"Le trio piano basse batterie reste le must du jazz. C’est le lieu géométrique de tellement d’émotions musicales, de surprises et de méditations, de bon- heurs. Bill Evans, Brad Mehldau, Keith Jarrett… Et voilà maintenant Yaniv Taubenhouse, l’Israélien de New York, avec ses complices le Canadien Rick Rosato à la basse et l’Américain Jerad Lippi à la batterie. Il y a entre ces trois musiciens une osmose complète: leur musique avance en même temps.

Dix pistes, sept de Taubenhouse, trois standards: un Cole Porter, un Monk et un Gene De Paul & Don Raye. Sur ces morceaux, le trio installe une conver- sation dont l’auditeur ne se sent pas exclu, il est dans la conversation, au cœur de ce qui s’échange, et il sent toute l’expérience musicale et humaine des trois interprètes. «Si la chanson est la route, alors les instruments peuvent en être le véhicule, ra- conte Yaniv Taubenhouse. Il n’y a pas de voyage sans route, et sans voyage les routes seraient vides. Quand nous avançons sur notre chemin, les contours de notre voyage se révèlent et la carte de notre itinéraire se dévoile.» Avec Yaniv and Co, le voyage est superbe et passionnant."

Jean-Claude Vantroyen (April 28, 2021)

"Jeune talent promu par le label Fresh Sound depuis 2014 ('Here from There'), le pianiste Yaniv Taubenhouse nous propose le troisième volet d’une série baptisée 'Moments in trio.' Dans ce format des plus classiques, le groupe constitué avec Rick Rosato (contrebasse) et Jerad Lippi (batterie) déploie une aisance séduisante et swingante  qui n’interdit pas, loin de là, une expression poétique.

Le trio nous emmène sur des chemins (pour reprendre le titre de l’album) propices à la flânerie et à la rêverie. Le leader évoque dans ses compositions (7 sur les 10 titres présentés) des moments particuliers de la vie (les bouchons de la circulation, la prière, la forêt…). Sa reprise de standards tels que ‘You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To’ (Cole Porter) et ‘Boo Boo’s Birthday’ (Thelonious Monk) permettra aux spécialistes de jauger (et juger) ce pianiste israélien diplômé à Tel Aviv et installé depuis une décennie aux Etats-Unis. Un album à déguster."

Jean Louis Lemarchand (April 22, 2021)

"Moments in Trio” is a series of recordings of the Yaniv Taubenhouse Trio released on Fresh Sound Records. “Roads” is the third release, naturally following on from “Moments Vol 1” and “Perpetuation – Vol 2”. Currently residing in New York City, the pianist is joined by bassist Rick Rosato and drummer Jerad Lippi, and the group’s repertoire features original compositions by Taubenhouse, Rosato and Lippi, as well as standards by Cole Porter, Thelonious Monk and Gene De Paul / Don Raye.

In music, as in life in general, it is often the little things that make the difference. I think this is particularly true when it comes to piano trios. There needs to be an intuitive togetherness, one which conveys a creative path of interest. This trio has this in abundance. It’s not just that though. For a piano-led trio, regardless of style or jazz sub-genre, for things to stand out above the crowd, there needs to be something almost indefinable about the music being performed. It’s about those little touches of decadence, those subtle nuances, those articulate, surprising moments when the pianist does something in a split second that you didn’t realise you’ve been waiting a lifetime to hear.

As the album opens, with the wonderfully enigmatic “Blue Forest”, I am reminded, in more ways than one, of the Brad Mehldau Trio. Particularly his “Art of the Trio” series that went a long way to launching his illustrious career. “Roads” has that same feel, that same essence running through it. Taubenhouse plays his instrument with a similar drifting ease, a similar beautiful lilt of a single note, a similar deft touch that sparks illumination. He even shares Mehldau’s penchant for lengthy liner notes… and yet he obviously has his own style. The mix of original compositions from the trio is great to hear, with each tune fitting effortlessly together to create an overall atmosphere of fresh originality.

Whilst “Rush Hour Traffic” and “Sailing Over The Horizon” are good solid tunes, it’s on tracks like “Prayer”, “Flow” and “Roads”, the title track, where the trio really comes into its own. There’s a graceful nature to the elegiac “Prayer”. It’s one of those tunes that sinks into your subconscious without you realising it. “Flow” teases with its syncopated rhythm as the trio gradually wind-up with some ear-catchingly compelling interaction. The beauty of the title track is its muse. It’s like the trio are looking around at the world, contemplating which road to take next… As Taubenhouse says in his liner notes: “Creativity has a road of its own where the destination isn’t clear nor is the direction. The analogy might be someone walking in an open field, searching for a particular flower, though not a specific kind, and only upon finding it, does it become clear that that’s the exact flower he/she has been looking for. Every journey has a path of its own as does the creative process, and at the end of the day, every composition rides its own journey.”

There are some touches of brilliance from the trio here, with a path of purpose that promises much. It will indeed be very interesting to see how their journey unfolds in the years ahead."

Mike Gates (April 16, 2021)

"One year after I heard ‘Perpetuation. Moments in Trio: Volume Two’ by the Yaniv Taubenhouse Trio, I've received the third volume, which arrived after a long and challenging trip (two months long), or in its full name: ‘Moments In Trio · Volume Three Roads’. This is the same trio that includes Taubenhouse on piano, Rick Rosato on bass, and Jared Lippi on drums, and for those who love piano trios like the one of Brad Mehldau, you are welcome to listen to understand and feel the symbiosis.

Taubenhouse came to New York in 2013 to study at the New School of Jazz and since then has released four albums on the "Fresh Sound New Talent" label. Israeli jazz abroad excels in its anonymity in our country, and the artists have to make a special effort in order to get it exposed. There are cases like the above that are big time worthy of exposure.

Volume Three: Roads presents another chapter in the sophisticated, refined and adventurous interactions that characterized Moments in Trio Volume Two. The musical drawings of Taubenhouse and his trio are a musical world of diverse colors, in which you immerse yourself as a one-time experience: old and new merge elegantly. The playing is superbly polished, tight and stylish.

The album consists of seven original compositions including "Rush Hour Traffic" as well as "Morning Night" and "Blue Forest", music by Thelonious Monk "Boo Boo's Birthday", which he wrote for his young daughter Barbara, "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To "by Cole Porter, and" Star Eyes " by Gene De Paul & Don Raye.

The diversity ranges from impressionistic-romantic ballads like "Blue Forest" to complex melodic rhythms as in "Sailing Over the Horizon'', which resembles the same wonderful feature of connection between old jazz and contemporary creativity. Taubenhouse is a pianist who in addition to being endowed with special skill and discipline, succeeds in creating a unique sound with the trio he leads, one of the best that can be heard in today’s jazz world.

Rosato's bass work puts him at the top alongside bassists like Dave Holland, Gary Peacock and Larry Grandier. Drummer Jerad Lippi, provides the trio with tight rhythmic patterns, like those in "Rush Hour Traffic'', or the traditional swing feel in "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To" by Cole Porter with his cymbal touch that adds dynamics to the inner structure of the piece.

Taubenhouse presents mastery and technique as well as creativity which illustrates the chemistry of the musicians - the one that requires not only talent, but years of persistent and steady collaboration, and creates a mutual language that is a pure jazz pleasure."

Yosi Hersonski (April 15, 2021)

"The Israeli / American jazz pianist, Yaniv Taubenhouse, created his trio in New York seven years ago. Subsequently, he, along with bassist Rick Rosato and drummer Jerad Lippi, have recorded and released a total of three notable albums - of which Roads is the third.

The music on Roads is eminently well composed and arranged by Taubenhouse and virtuosically performed by his trio. The music exudes mutual familiarity between the musicians; of both technical and artistic surplus; and of a rare degree of authenticity. The modern trio jazz thus acquires with Taubenhouse and his trio a modern, many faceted, eclectic feel; it is infused with some unconventional elements that testify that Taubenhouse is not a Native American, but moves in with other impulses in his luggage; and then it is alive, vital and in moments gripping.

This is thus modern, innovative and original trio jazz from the top shelf. And Roads is a work of impressive, international stature. One of the best trio jazz albums I've heard in the last year."

Ivan Rod (April 9, 2021)

"Remember the excitement you first felt drawing circles as a kid? That profoundly innocent sense of being able to construct anything inside, outside, on, or upon those circles? Faces, trees, noses. Birds. bees, roses. A wide, westward, indigo sky. A fathomless blue ocean of liquid imagination. That's what it's like when you fully and gratefully engage with NYC based pianist/composer Yaniv Taubenhouse's third go round Moments In Trio Volume Three: Roads.

With his fiercely limber rhythm mates, bassist Rick Rosato and drummer Jerad Lippi, the pianist's elegant musings evolve like a lived-in winter's day. A squall here, a flurry there. But they never leave you cold like some artisans. Taubenhouse's (and the trio's) peculiar circle drawings come at an impressionist's pace, with an infectious, homegrown classicism that gives his seven originals, such as "Morning Night," "Rush Hour Traffic," Blue Forest" instant notability. Taffy-pull takes on "Boo Boo's Birthday," Thelonious Monk's song to his young daughter Barbara, Cole Porter's "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To," and Charlie Parker's cliffhanging "Star Eyes" make especially moving targets.

Moments In Trio Volume Three: Roads eases generously (check out "Prayer") with melodic hijinks abounding and any number of rhythmic ski trails to keep you on your toes."Blue Forest" lulls you into its hypnotic Zen-ness only to have "Rush Hour Traffic" broadside you.Where many and most have tried to define Manhattan in song, verse, and rhyme here is one of the few that does the great burg justice. A springboard of a tune that Rosato and Lippi easily delineate and detail as Taubenhouse crests and configures. "Flow," a progression of loosely tied harmonics and the roaming themes of "Roads" prove the trio to be master weavers all. Don't miss it."

Mike Jurkovic (April 5, 2021)

"Moments In Trio, Volume Three: Roads represents the third trip around the sun for Yaniv Taubenhouse's piano trio, featuring Rick Rosato and Jerad Lippi. It's also the group's most refined offering to date. Borrowing from the bold and confident spirit of Moments in Trio Volume One (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2015) and reabsorbing the nimble interplay and lyrical subtleness that characterized the trio's second crack Moments in Trio Volume Two (2018), this moment in trio combines the adventurous spirit of the earlier dates with a new found perspective, brought forth by meticulous performances all around. With sophistication and confidence, the three offer a fresh batch of inventive originals and a triplet of tasty standards to top it off.

One thing the last two Taubenhouse trio recordings had in common was their setlists being graced with a large majority of originals. The pianist's newest effort doesn't deviate from that path, and the music is all the better for it. From impressionist-romantic ballads like "Blue Forest" to light-footed flirtations with more deconstructed rhythmic and melodic games as demonstrated in "Sailing Over The Horizon," the leader proves to have developed into a state of the art composer, who's capable of paving a way forward without neglecting his musical heritage. That heritage, beyond the obligatory nod to the old bebop guard, having obvious ties to Brad Mehldau's Art of The Trio volumes as well as his work in general.

One might hear reflections of Mehldau's "Ode" (off of Ode (Nonesuch, 2008) in the way "Prayer"'s changes gently build to complete a full circle while accompanied by a crescendoing percussive backdrop. A hint of Mehldau is also hidden in Taubenhouse's soloistic mannerisms, as showcased in the trio's patiently swinging take on Thelonious Monk's "Boo Boo's Birthday" or Taubenhouse's 5/4- riddled version of "Star Eyes." When put into context and looked at as a whole though, it's safe to say that Taubenhouse has a unique approach to melody and composition of his own. He's also a pianist who, besides being endowed with special skill and discipline, profits from the charismatic voices of a longtime working band.

With Lippi, the pianist's band features the kind of drummer who seamlessly alternates tight beat-concentric patterns, like the ones dominating "Rush Hour Traffic," with traditional swing, as expertly featured in the trio's take on Cole Porter classic "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To." The latter piece exhibits him performing a rapid cymbal storm that dynamically swells and decays according to the tune's inner structure. Like Lippi, Taubenhouse adopts a stop-and-go strategy on keys, trading fleeting runs with tip-toing sequences in one moment and laying down gentle cadences in the next. Many instances spread across the program display similar agility and illustrate the players' impeccable chemistry —surely owed to many years of collaboration within a permanent lineup.

Generally treated to slightly more extensive runtimes —six tracks reaching beyond or just under the eight-minute mark— the group's elaborations give each player much room for deeper exploration of voice. Rosato's distinguished bass work especially profits from this enhanced space. He uses the opportunity for resourceful forays up and down the neck. Neither a thick and dominant foundation like Dave Holland, nor the deconstructed experimentalist type in the vein of Gary Peacock, Rosato's accompaniment rather takes on the elegant and versatile stride that contemporaries like Larry Grenadier exhibit. And when he solos, he's melodically on point.

Unlike the customary trio approach however, with this formation solos don't start and stop in the obvious way, where the composition's head is introduced and the players subsequently alternate soloing over the template. Nor do Taubenhouse, Rosato or Lippi necessarily go at it alone. While that may be the case on some occasions —especially with the more traditional cuts like Monk's "Boo Boo's Birthday"— the three tend to prefer a collective approach to improvisation. One that prioritizes steady but simultaneous growth of arrangement over speed and mutual combination over individual showmanship. This is as evident in the opener "Blue Forest" as on breezy "Flow," which finds the three sharing the spotlight from beginning to end. One instrument will take over the reins, but that doesn't keep the others from altering their game, too and accompany at their own independent pace. An exercise in off-beat and polyrhythms, "Morning Night" carries the notion to the brim and finds the trio at its grooviest, with Rosato exhausting the entire breadth of his bass' neck.

Finally, pristine and bright attack paired with warm middle-frequency waves bring the production values to the fore, comprehensively tying this offering together. While Moments In Trio Volume Three: Roads, like the Moments in Trio volumes before it, was engineered by Robert L. Smith, the album appears to make a stronger sonic impact compared to its predecessors. Taubenhouse agrees that Smith's role in this music shouldn't be underestimated when he mentions how "at this point, it almost feels like he's the 4th wheel of the band." Every band could profit from their own personal George Martin now and again...

Whatever Taubenhouse's future projects may entail, one can only hope this formation remains among them and that the pianist's trio can continue to push the envelope forward, build on their shared experience and carry on cultivating a language that's becoming more fluent with each album."

Friedrich Kunzmann  (April 4, 2021)

"Pianist and composer Yaniv Taubenhouse releases a new album this month. Moments in Trio Volume Three–Roads (Fresh Sounds/New Talent) features the Israeli pianist and composer backed by Rick Rosato on bass and Jerad Lippi on drums.

Taubenhouse, a graduate of the Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts in Tel Aviv, has a knack for writing ethereal melodies, and his lyrical playing benefits from the gentle propulsion of the rhythm section heard on the album’s 10 tracks, which are mainly originals. There’s also a cover of Cole Porter’s “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To,” and Thelonious Monk’s “Boo Boo’s Birthday,” which the legendary be-bop trailblazer wrote for his daughter Barbara.

It’s a pleasure to hear Taubenhouse spin out his ideas in this trio setting. There’s always something sparkling and inventive here to delight the ears and heart."

Mordecai Specktor (April, 2021)
—American Jewish World


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