Anyway we come up the years to now and a Matt Newton piano trio album Within Reach (FTM 906). I had not known Matt's playing well until now. He is up there in Canada most of the time, I outside of New York City. But after hearing Within Reach I feel I know his playing, and it's very, very good.
And yes, drummer Ethan Ardelli gets a beautiful leverage on his ride cymbal--it rings out fully and rhythmically in a hip way. It's captured in an excellent balance with the sound of his kit. He is a player! And he sets up things so that bassist Dan Fortin has space to sound through it and Matt floats atop. Fortin does good things on this set too, both solo and ensemble-wise.
And so we have a kind of ideal setting to hear Matt. He is harmonically active and acute with a beautiful touch and great ideas, a sense of space and when to play, then of course what to play. Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea come to mind as forebears, certainly, and Matt takes that basic premise and goes someplace very good with it.
One piece is by Dan Fortin, the rest by Matt and they are excellent vehicles that hold their own and give the trio something to dig into. One number adds Felicity Williams on wordless vocals and Harley Card on guitar; both nicely bolster the melody line set down by Matt's electric piano.
In the end you have some really good piano trio music here by three players that deserve a hearing and more exposure. I am so pleased with this one I eagerly anticipate the next. Meanwhile check this one out!