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Angle of Vision
Downbeat
Joe Tangari

Canadian pianist Dana reason releases albums as a leader only occasionally; it’s been three years since her last one, but the silence has been productive. She has a lot to say on Angle of Vision, and in bassist Glen Moore and drummer Peter Valsamis, she’s chosen collaborators who are able to answer with exactly the right phrases to bring out the best in her playing.

She’s also brought some of the silence of the last three years with her to the studio. Reason’s original compositions, which consitute most of the album, are largely delicate and contemplative. “Unmarked” and the title track are well-calibrated indoor listening for cold, snowy days, while “Moments With Clara,” her rewrite of Clara Schumann’s “Drie Romanzen Opus 21,” is crystalline and seems to mourn the 19th-century composer-pianist’s relative obscurity.

Reason has other gears, “Paris Tango” is a playfully rhythmic piece that delivers on its title by skillfully blending the beat of tango with the airy feel of musette quoting Astor Piazzolla in its fluttering melody. “Play Ball” bounces through its verses, flits lightly through dizzying double stops and rippling cadenzas, and generally show Reason to be fleet-fingered and naturally melodic. As piano trio records go, Angle of Vision is comfortably traditional (it would sit well on a shelf between Bill Evans and Vince Guaraldi), but Reason’s voice as a composer and instrumentalist is firmly her own, and well worth listening to.

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