Steve Okonski is the classically trained keyboardist with Durand Jones and the Indications and a couple of months ago he announced the release of his own solo album, ‘Magnolia’. It’s not quite solo, though. You see as a side hustle, Steve fronts a jazz trio that is called OKONSKI. His colleagues are bassist Michael Isvara “Ish” Montgomery and Indications’ drummer and sometime vocalist, Aaron Frazer and they’re the boys on ‘Magnolia’
The trio have already issued a couple of singles to set up the album. They were a chilled out, broody, introspective ‘Dark Moon’ and an equally soothing ‘Song For My Sister’s Son’. Both were cool and calm and featured relaxing cascading piano lines and the album’s five other tracks deliver more of the same. Of those five, ‘Sunday’ is perhaps the best summation of what Okonski’s ‘Magnolia’ offers. It’s a lovely gentle piece with considerable meditative appeal – something which, in these ever-troubled times, we need more and more. We’re told that ‘Sunday’ was recorded late into the night at the close of the trio’s first recording session. Without the spontaneity of ‘Sunday’, the remainder of ‘Magnolia’ would likely have never come to fruition. What a shame that would have been!
OKONSKI; ‘Magnolia’ out today 24th February via Colemine.