Keith Vreeland Trio | Ask Me Now

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Piano Jazz Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Ask Me Now

by Keith Vreeland Trio

This acoustic jazz piano trio performs exciting contemporary interpretations of lesser-known jazz classics.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ask Me now
8:36 album only
2. Fee Fi Fo Fum
6:27 album only
3. Hairy Canary
5:54 album only
4. Detour Ahead
8:59 album only
5. Pee Wee
7:20 album only
6. Goodby Porkpie Hat
7:34 album only
7. Scotch and Water
3:42 album only
8. Sno' Peas
7:51 album only
9. Straight Up and Down
6:29 album only
10. You must Believe In Spring
6:47 album only
11. Whisper Not
8:31 album only


Album Notes
Over the years John, Renell and I have been working on tunes composed by our favorite jazz artist-composers. For us, the jazz world experienced an astonishing period of invention and discovery from around the mid 1950s through the early 1980s. We were there to witness the emergence of a brave improvised music, created by some of the greatest jazz artist-composers of all time. The tunes on this album embody some of the most seminal rhythmic, harmonic and formal innovations from that era. The compositions and the musical mindset involved in playing this music has provided musical challenges for us – challenges that have required learning new creative musical skills in order to expand our repertoire.

Some of the tunes are identified mostly with their original composer, such as Charles Mingus’ bluesy Goodbye Porkpie Hat and Thelonius Monk’s lyrical Ask Me Now. Others are identified by a particular rendition, such as with Bill Evans’ luscious interpretations of Detour Ahead and You Must Believe in Spring. Some are associated with the composer-performer only, such as with Chick Corea’s spicy-quick Straight Up and Down and The Hairy Canary. Snow Peas, written by Phil Markowitz and Pee Wee, by Tony Williams, employ harmonic complexity within unusual form structures. They are relatively unknown, even by many jazz players. I regret that we could include only one of Wayne Shorter’s tunes, the lumbering Fee Fi Fo Fum, a groove not heard often enough. Wayne is arguably one of the greatest jazz composers of all time. Scotch and Water, written by Joe Zawinul, and Whisper Not, by Benny Golsen, are modern jazz classics. They’re just great tunes that we enjoy playing, but for whatever reasons have become fairly obscure in recent times.

Most of the tunes in this collection are seldom heard in live performance and fewer yet in live jazz recordings. In this album we have attempted to capture the spirit of the music and the vitality of live performance without over-dubbing or note editing. Many of the tunes on the album were captured in just one take, and most of the others in the first take. Once the recording levels were set we just let it go, never playing a tune the same way twice. We want our music to sound fresh and human, and we place the value of spontaneous creativity over the perfect execution of arrangements. Spontaneity can be very risky, but it can also reap great rewards. We dedicate our effort to the creative possibilities revealed through the combining of innovative composing with the art of improvisation and the listener’s new ears. To us, that is the spirit of jazz.



to write a review

Ron Gianola

beautiful ...the one take is the only way to go
Keith, this cd is, of course, beautiful. What a pleasure it is to hear you on this. You sound great, the one take is the only way to go. Your liner notes say it all. Hope to see you soon, Ron

Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press music critic

... trio plays with the offhanded ease and casual invention of veterans.....
The Keith Vreeland Trio plays with the offhanded ease and casual invention of veterans more interested in the emotional marrow of the music than glitzy displays of technique or slick arrangements. Pianist Keith Vreeland, bassist John Dana and drummer Renell Gonsalves are, in fact, veteran Detroit warriors, and this set of mostly familiar tunes – including standards by Thelonious Monk, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea and Benny Golson – has the air of an after-hours session. The trio plays for itself and the spirit of its heroes rather than aiming for the perfect take.

The title track opens with a discursive piano intro before settling into a strolling ballad tempo for Monk’s timeless melody; the solos root around leisurely in the nooks of the harmony. On Corea’s “Hairy Canary” and “Straight Up and Down”, Vreeland mimics Corea’s pinging articulation and the shadow of the Bill Evans Trio appears at times. Models, however, never obscure the players’ identities.
………… These are all engaging tunes played with sincerity.

W. Kim Heron, Metro Times

graceful and intimate
Graceful and intimate in a post Bill-Evans Trio sort of way, pianist Vreeland, bassist John Dana and drummer Renell Gonsalves deserve to settle into a long residency in a quiet club with a rapt audience. Their repertoire is especially well chosen, from the ubiquitous "Good-bye Pork Pie Hat" to less-well-known pieces like Tony Williams' "Pee Wee."

Linda Yohn, WEMU

sensitive, souful and swinging jazz musicians
We at WEMU knew of Keith Vreeland through his association with the late Marvin Kahn. Keith made some beautiful music with Marvin, but it is a joy to hear him with this trio. He is a Detroit talent deserving much wider recognition. The same can be said for the members of the trio, John Dana and Renell Gonsalves. I hope "Ask Me Now" brings the proper attention to these three sensitive, soulful and swinging jazz musicians. It is certainly getting attention on WEMU!


Linda Yohn
WEMU Music Director

Andy Graybeal

Totally smooth! Nice arrangements of these tunes and very alive.
This CD really gives you your money's worth with totally smooth arrangements of timeless tunes not frequently heard. Great spontaneous playing and presence captured by a great recording.

Andy Graybeal

Great for an Art Center grad
You ARE the Keith Vreeland of Tucson and Art Center fame aren't you? I was blown away with your playing back in 1957 then and it doesn't seem that you've lost your touch.