Trio 3 and the Young Pianists
Should probably give myself more time to absorb these, but after two listens (and just one of the Geri Allen collab) I knew they were hits. Comprised of accomplished players, the old-timers are apt to grab fresh fingers to play piano, a trend that suits them well. At first I considered them a bit more avant—and they might be considering their extensive, collective catalog with which I’m unfamiliar—but I’d put them down as proud post-bop who haven’t ignored post-60’s trends.
TRIO 3 + GERI ALLEN – Celebrating Mary Lou Williams: Live at Birdland New York (Intakt ’11): A tribute to the highly influential old school big bang writer/arranger who worked closely with Ellington and B. Goodman and associated with Davis, Monk, Parker, and any other giant you like, so by extension it’s a tribute to most jazz of the 20th century. Two long pieces collectively clocking in at 25 minutes, awfully short for a jazz record, especially a live one. Regardless, Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman, and Andrew Cyrille do their bits as young-gun pianist Geri Allen lets her fingers do magic, making this an explosive remembrance of a time bassist Workman might well remember given his Coltrane/Blakey credentials. A MINUS
TRIO 3 + JASON MORAN – Refraction – Breakin’ Glass (Intakt): Post-bop jazz group comprised of two grand geezers (drummer Andrew Cyrille and double-bassist Reggie Workman) and legendary leader (saxophonist Oliver Lake), here teamed up with (relatively) youthful pianist Jason Moran. As always, the rhythm section pops, their bebop rocks, the piano’s hot and they just don’t stop. Take four turns to listen if you’ve an inkling of doubt, allowing yourself with each spin to focus on individual players every run through. Album’s anchored by Lake and Cyrille’s poetry recitations which I first found hokey but now quite like. Lake’s mother, owner of a restaurant, car wash, pool room, breaking bottles for 25 cents a bushel basket. “Why she breakin’ glass?” A MINUS