Noah Baerman is one of my heroes - not that I'm really into heroes or putting people up on ridiculous pedestals so we can feel better about ourselves when they fall off - but hero as in someone who walks the walk and who's piano & composition chops I am in awe of.
Noah's latest record Know Thyself isn't just for Jazz fans, it's for music lovers. If you dig Coltrane, Evans (Gil & Bill) or even if you don't really get "Jazz" but want something hipper than hip for your next party playlist - check it out - stick it on and you'll find yourself being blown away by the musicianship.
As Noah writes:
"Have sweeping journeys lost their place in the era of the cute little web video? Is the in-depth musical exploration of intense personal transformation irrelevant when one could instead condense those experiences into a text message? Is spending an uninterrupted hour-plus listening to an intricate and ambitious piece of instrumental music a waste of time in the era of the ringtone? If your answer is no to any of these, I’m glad you’re here."
Delivered as one track coming in at just over 65 minutes, it is funny, thoughtful, evocative and definitely hip - I've been listening for several days now and I tell you - it is killer music to work to as well.