Zoë Rahman | Melting Point

Although, pianist Zoë Rahman’s debut The Cynic showed promise, the follow-up proves this artist has truly arrived. Since 2001, the pianist has played in Clark Tracey’s hard bop outfit and matured not only technically but conceptually. Mostly played as a trio with woody-toned bassist Oli Hayhurst and drum whiz Gene Calderazzo, Melting Pot brims with top-notch composition, interaction and soloing.
 As a player, Rahman weaves dense, darkly rich melodicisms. The opening ‘Camel’ is almost Money Jungle in style, throwing in influences from Ellington to McCoy Tyner. Rahman also has a wayward, rolling style that also recalls Jason Moran or Abdullah Ibrahim on the shimmering ‘Shiraz’ – even Alice Coltrane-like arpeggios over dazzling drumming from Calderazzo. Yet to make player comparisons detracts from Rahman’s individuality. A raw, percussive musician, she wrenches emotion from every track from the brooding ‘Last Note’ to the middle-Eastern twists of ‘Muchhe Jaoa Dinguli’. One of the most distinctive British piano trio albums in a while, let’s not take Rahman for granted.

 Zoë Rahman (p), Oli Hayhurst (b), Gene Calderazzo (d) plus Idris Rahman (cl), Adriano Adewale Itauna (udu), Jeremy Brown (b) and Patrick Illingworth (d). Rec. 2005