The advanced contemporary pianoless jazz outfit today has become something different than it once was. The classic Sonny Rollins trio of the late '50s, for example, essentially proceeded as a piano-included quartet might at the time, only the space freed up by the absence of piano comping/chord spelling allowed the soloist more freedom and the rhythm section to loosen up and play more densely, to simplify the matter greatly.
By the time a group like Air was flourishing in the '70s, the entire trio had more compositional roles to fulfill in addition to the solo plus flow and momentum mode.
A group such as the October Trio is an heir to that legacy, as you can readily hear in their recent CD New Dream (Songlines 1593-2). It's Evan Arntzen on tenor, soprano and clarinet; Dan Gaucher, drums; and Josh Cole at the contrabass. They roll effortlessly through a series of originals that give pride of place to the group arrangement, a free looseness and multi-improvisational roles to all three members, often simultaneously.
The playing is quite good as are the compositions, which range from free-declamatory to free-rock.
This is a band to watch, a band to hear. The album shows them to have a sound well on the way to maturity, a music that combines the flair of freefire with the musicality of distinctive part-arranging.
Check this one out, by all means.