Thursday, December 22, 2011

Colin Stranahan, Glenn Zaleski, Rick Rosato, "Anticipation:" A Different Sort of Piano Trio

If you think that there is nothing new under the sun you may be wrong. Even if it is the same sun, the same "under," nothing really repeats itself in the same way. You can't step into the same stream twice, really. So with the venerable institution of the jazz piano trio. It's the piano, bass, drums configuration each time, but it's not always the same thing over and again. At least not with the trio of Colin Stranahan (drums), Glenn Zaleski (piano), and Rick Rosato (contrabass). At least not with their album Anticipation (Capri 74112-2).

Well then, how is that? These are well-schooled players who are out to capture your ears with some new trists, new twists and turns in the musical roads they traverse. There are a couple of standards (like "I Should Care") a jazz classic (the Davis-Evans "Boplicity") and a series of originals, one or more by each member of the group, that stand out. They stand out as memorable and they stand out because of the care the trio has taken with the arrangements. The latter is true of the entire program. Solos, nicely put together, are set off by nicely patterned arrangement sequences. Like the classic Ahmad Jamal trio, they are a kind of "orchestra in a box," with each instrumentalist having a unique role to play in the whole matrix for any given piece.

And what else? It swings with the happy abandon of some of Corea's classic trios from earlier times, when the players feel the spirit. And it creates other ways to make a statement around the solos as well.

Most importantly all these things work well, thanks to the excellent musicianship on display. Anticipation is no longer a matter of waiting. It's a matter of listening. Good listening to you!

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