Ben Geyer Trio, The Acadian Orogeny
Ben Geyer is Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of West Georgia. He previously taught music theory and aural skills at Oberlin College Conservatory and has a Ph.D. in Music Theory from the University of Kentucky. Geyer has taught at Oberlin, U of Kentucky, UMass, Centre College, Nashua Community College, and Rivier University.
About the Album
The Acadian Orogeny, is comprised of five original compositions by Geyer and the indelible “Giant Steps,” by John Coltrane. The pianist is joined by bassist Peter Dominguez and drummer Zaire Darden. The trio formed and recorded the album in the Cleveland area. Geyer named the album for a geological mountain building event, the Acadian orogeny, which stretches from New Hampshire to Kentucky. Geyer migrated along that very path the day after the title composition was completed. Geyer describes his concept, “The album can be heard as an exploration of topographies, where each composition traces a different path and vantage point.”
Our Favorite Track
Our favorite track is “Movable Cogs.” A Geyer original that evolves over the eight-minute and forty-one seconds of track time. Starting with Geyer playing solo piano, he introduces the theme against a left-hand ostinato. The two lines hover around each other, creating a musical space that allures and builds the energy in a luminous and fresh way as the themes repeat. Geyer’s piano technique is excellent as he fully imagines the twisting snaking melody that is constantly moving. When the trio enters, the tune is lifted by the groove in the bass and polyrhythmic drumming by Tripp. The composition releases the energy for a slower more open middle section with a wonderfully played arco melody from Dominguez. In this original, Geyer displays his ability to create excitement paired with dreamy and sensual moments. Geyer’s improvising is rich in counterpoint and crackling with rhythmic accents. The composition is a fine example of classical and jazz in a creative mix that is both sophisticated and entertaining, and played beautifully.
Geyer’s expressive compositions tell an engaging story of a beautiful soundscape inspired by mother nature. Geyer shapes these ideas into beautifully conceived pieces that speak a language of serenity and introspection, while sparking thought provoking tranquility.
The Ben Geyer Trio
The Acadian Orogeny
May 17, 2018