“With Standards II, I’ve committed to performing with my own Standards Trio as a regular part of my touring schedule,” Haidu says. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to build a voice in this canon, and for the amazing response from audiences on our recent tours. While I’m still composing my own music and continuing with various projects outside of the American Songbook repertoire, my Standards Trio is an important statement for me and an integral part of my identity as a musician.”

– Noah Haidu

“The melodies provide a bare grid within which three daring improvisers are free to discover and dream. Sonically stunning…” Stereophile
– Stereophile (Thomas Conrad)

“An epic crescendo where much of the space is reserved for improvisation. A jewel. Even when, as happens in Someone to Watch Over Me, the melody is more recognizable at first glance, the three friends move with absolute freedom…don’t miss it.”
– Musica Jazz, Italy (Ivo Franchi)

“Noah Haidu’s approach is that of a visual artist; he lives his music from the inside, seeking the essential, never falling into the superfluous, and redesigning standards that we all know with unparalleled grace…. Haidu pushes the boundaries of improvisation far beyond limits, as evidenced by the second track of this album which comes as a mirror recalling the first track, “Someone To Watch Over Me.” Let’s add to the talent of this artist the humor that makes him even more enjoyable… a pure marvel that closes the album with a radiant double bass, but what meaning should we give to it other than making us crave for a “Standards III” that will certainly come in due time, for this album which becomes “indispensable” due to the quality of the performers and the beauty of their work.”
– Paris Move, France (Thierry De Clemensat)

Haidu’s initial quintet recordings — Slipstream (Posi-Tone) and Infinite Distances (Cellar Live) — led to DownBeat magazine calling him an “innovative composer,” while writer Giovanni Russonello described him as “a performer and composer with focus and vision.” In Jazzwise magazine, Tony Hall called Haidu “unquestionably one of the most confident and impressive of all the new pianists.” Standards II realizes that early promise while honing in on the essential components of jazz pianism and the jazz trio. The album showcases Haidu’s touch, improvisations and interaction with Williams and Hart. These
performances illuminate classic with freshness, virtuosity and irresistible immediacy, commanding the listener’s full attention.

The album is also the latest in a five-decade collaboration between legendary bassist Buster Williams and brilliant drummer Billy Hart. Their rhythmic partnership started on a gig in Chicago with vocalist Betty Carter, and continued soon after in bands led by pianists Herbie Hancock and McCoy Tyner, both of whom have influenced Haidu as much as Keith Jarrett and Kenny Kirkland. Haidu reminisces about the moment he realized he wanted to record with Hart and Williams:

“We were playing at Jazz Forum. I’d played with Billy, I’d played with Buster, but we’d never played together as a group. I started a piece in three-four time, but the tempo was too fast. Buster responded by superimposing different time signatures over the 3-4, never quite going into one or the other. The effect of keeping things off balance challenged everyone to play the song differently. It was like … hold on tight, and keep up!

“Later Billy mentioned that he was basically lost for the whole tune, but to me it was a great moment and I loved where it took us. We also played standard repertoire at that show, and I was really happy to have a band that could play anywhere on the spectrum, from experimental modernism to authentic standards, all with total integrity. There’s not a lot of bands that can do that, and I don’t take it for granted.”

Standards II opens with a free-floating, exploratory interpretation of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Although this piece has been covered by many, including Keith Jarrett, the trio finds new territory, from Hart’s opening soundscapes and the unique interplay between Haidu and Williams to a passing of the melodic baton between Haidu, Williams and Hart. This arguably represents a new direction in Haidu’s approach which typically finds freedom within clearly defined song structures. Here he enjoys knocking down those structures and then rebuilding them with “found” materials such as gospel chords, classical cadences, and even ‘Tatum-esque’ runs. He plays with, and at times against the melody and his collaborators. Meanwhile Hart and Williams engage in the push/pull of this performance with as much vitality as their early 1970’s work with Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi ensemble. It was throughthis exploratory band that they helped create the language of free jazz.

Just how far this trio can go in various directions is demonstrated on the second track, George and Ira Gershwin’s 1926 composition “Someone to Watch Over Me.” Here the trio shows a completely different side of its ballad approach, carefully teasing the harmonic and melodic possibilities of the song to create a moving performance that features Haidu’s lyricism and use of space framed by Hart’s delicate brushwork and Williams’ nimble counterpoint. The band creates emotion and slow-motion energy throughout while staying within the framework of the standard.

Freddie Hubbard’s “Up Jumped Spring” follows with the band exploring the possibilities of the introduction to the point where it feels like a separate track, with opening piano chords enfolding bass and drum work leading into collective rubato statement; finally, a steady 3-4 tempo is introduced and Hart solos with heartfelt accompaniment from Williams and Haidu, both of whom follow with swinging solos and the final melody. Pedro Flores’ “Obsesión,” a standard in the Afro-Latin world, is seamlessly translated into the jazz trio idiom with Haidu’s block chords, runs and rhythmic ideas.

“Days of Wine and Roses” is exquisitely rendered with a consummate solo by Williams, while Haidu’s swinging touch and harmonic sensibilities shine through on “After You’ve Gone.” Hart’s unaccompanied solo amply demonstrates why he remains among the world’s most in-demand drummers. The set concludes with Ellington’s “I’ve Got it Bad (And That Ain’t Good).” Here Haidu plays the melody eloquently before Williams’ improvisation and Hart’s brushwork take center stage.

Standards II is clearly not a piano date with hired gun sidemen. It showcases an evolving ensemble — seasoned by time on the road and in the studio — at its peak, nailing the essence of what a jazz trio should be and expanding its vocabulary in some of the music’s most revered standards.

Released April 12th, 2024

STANDARDS

“Gorgeous melody-based improvisation. It’s an excellent example of how an artist can both imprint his stamp on a tune while letting the composer’s original intent shine through.”
– NYC Jazz Record

“The future of playing standards is certainly safe in Haidu’s hands.”
Simon Adams, Jazz Journal UK

“Brilliantly talented pianist-composer Noah Haidu continues his fascination with iconic jazz pianist Keith Jarrett with this disc….He’s an astounding musician himself and grasps the nuances of Jarrett’s love of improvisation.”
–The Toledo Blade (Tom Henry)

“An elegant, economical, and sure-footed exposition into this vision of the standards songbook…quietly ravishing.”
— Pierre Giroux, All About Jazz

“This is straight ahead hard bop and post bop at its best….you don’t need to know that to immediately fall in love with this date.”
— A Green Man Review (U.K. Cornwall)

“Haidu’s trademarks of soulful fluidity and natural melodic intuition are framed by Williams’ nimble bass lines and crisp touch…. Their first ballad is “All the Way,” taken at a tantalizingly slow tempo… these are players of the highest caliber leaning hard on emotion rather than simply technical prowess.”
— Makin’ a Scene (Jim Hynes)

“Performed with a sense of originality and clarity”
— Columbia Daily Tribune (Jon W. Poses)

“This is straight ahead hard bop and post bop at its best….you don’t need to know that to immediately fall in love with this date. “
— A Green Man Review

“Delicately-hued, supremely-heartfelt new recording.…”
anncarlini.com

“Haidu is both technically and artistically in a special class – an uncommonly skilled and stable and steady capacity that has something to offer in its own name and in its own right….strongly carried through by Haidu’s stylish handling of the piano.”
ivanrod.dk (Ivan Rod)

“The listening is beautiful, sensible and essential…great musicians, who do nothing but interpret, with knowledge and passion, their tradition.”
— DISCORYCHION  VINYLMINE (Greece) by PHONTAS TROUSSAS

“Poignant ballads… interpreted with extreme sensitivity and delicacy”
— MusicaJazz (Ivo Franchi, Italy)

Released June 23, 2023

SLOWLY: SONG FOR KEITH JARRETT

Noah Haidu – piano
Buster Williams – bass
Billy Hart – drums

“A work of rare elegance.”
-Elio Bussolino/Rockerilla (Italy)

“A major trio statement.”
– Matt Micucci/Jazziz

“Haidu’s touch on both of these is exquisite, an adroit expression of the melodic threads, weaving them into magic.” 
– Dan McClenaghan/AllAboutJazz star review and Best of 2021 List

“With this powerhouse lineup, Haidu effectively creates his own incarnation of Jarrett’s legendary “Standards Trio” with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette.”
– Jackson Sinnenberg/Jazz Times

Released May 7, 2021

DOCTONE: THE ALBUM:

On Sunnyside Records

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CD & BOOK PACKAGE

$35 + Shipping

INFINITE DISTANCES

Noah Haidu – piano
Sharel Cassity – alto sax
Jon Irabagon – soprano sax and tenor sax
Jeremy Pelt- trumpet and flugelhorn
John Davis – drums
Mark Ferber-drums
Peter Brendler- bass
Ariel Alejandro de la Portilla – bass

Released February 10, 2017

“Among the closest people there remain infinite distances.” -Ranier Maria Rilke

CL080216

Recorded at Skyline Productions June 24, 2015 and February 15, 2016 by Paul Wickliffe

“Infinite Distances pulses with soul…a sumptuous record that swings and grooves with far out moments.”
—Downbeat Magazine

“An ambitious and highly successful showcase for Noah’s piano, compositions and ensemble conception.”
— Hot House

“Haidu’s ability to express deep feelings is striking.”
— Jazzwise(UK)

MOMENTUM

Noah Haidu- Piano
McClenty Hunter- Drums
Ariel de la Portilla- Bass

1. I Thought About You (J. Van Heusen)
2. Momentum (N. Haidu)
3. Rainbow (K. Jarrett)
4. Juicy (N. Haidu)
5. A Child is Born (T. Jones)
6. Groove Interlude (N. Haidu)
7. The End of a Love Affair (E.C. Redding)
8. Serenity (J. Henderson)
9. The Cookie Jar (N. Haidu)

Released June 12, 2013

All songs arranged by Noah Haidu

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“Noah Haidu is a wonderfully talented pianist…intensity, intelligence, and wit.”
—Step Tempest

“Noah Haidu is accessible, intelligent and a master at his art…the artful finesse of a Silver or a Herbie Hancock”
— Critical Jazz

“Haidu’s rising star is propelled by a sure technique…instilled with a harmonic freshness and degree of modernism that is all Haidu.”
— ICON

SLIPSTREAM

Noah Haidu- Piano
Jeremy Pelt- Trumpet
Jon Irabagon- Alto Sax
Willie Jones III- Drums
John Davis- Drums
Chris Haney- Bass

1. Soulstep
2. Where We Are Right Now
3. Slipstream
4. Break Tune
5. Float
6. Take Your Time
7. Just One of Those Things
8. The Trouble Makers

All Songs by Noah Haidu except track 7 by Cole Porter

Posi-Tone Records 2011

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“A rising star in New York’s vibrant jazz scene…Haidu is one of the finest young jazz lions… With jazz luminaries like trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon gracing the band as part of a core quintet, rising above their powerful performance is quite an accomplishment and Haidu does just that.”
— Jazz Times / Edward Blanco

“Unquestionably one of the most confident and impressive of all the new pianists… Haidu is an important new talent.”
—Jazzwise Magazine (UK)

“The ca­­t can play his butt off.”
—All About Jazz / R.J. DeLuke