Adriana on Stu’s Record Room

Thanks to Stuart Kremsky for his recent review on Adriana for Stu’s Record Room

On her self-produced Adriana, pianist Francesca Prihasti offers a batch of smart compositions that make good use of the instrumentation she’s assembled for the project. Born in Indonesia, Prihasti studied in Australia before moving to New York. This is her third release since 2015. For this outing, she’s recruited a stellar septet with brassmen Mike Rodriguez and Alan Ferber, saxophonist Dave Pietro, guitarist Nic Vardanega (who’s been on all three discs), first-call bassist Drew Gress, and drummer Josh Roberts. The prevailing mood is thoughtful reflection, with fine solo work by all hands. The slow groove of Johnny gets things off to a good start, with concise solos by Prihasti (spacious and conversational), Gress (warm and expressive), Vardanega (appealingly melodic) and Ferber (smooth and well-constructed). Saxophonist Pietro takes an invitingly warm alto solo on Time Traveller, with a thoroughly engaged Prihasti in support. She follows with another sparkling piano solo. It’s clear from her crisp attack and provocative comping that she’s learned a lot from studies with pianists Mike Nock, Kevin Hays and Alan Broadbent. With her careful writing and accompaniments, Prihasti’s approach to small group dynamics makes her bandmates sound good, and they return the favor. All of which makes Adriana a solidly entertaining collection of tunes, and a disc well worth hearing.

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