Monday, June 27, 2011

Jason Yeager's "Ruminations": Piano Trio Plus Much

Pianist Jason Yeager has been working with his trio of Tal Gamlieli (bass) and Michael Gleichman (drums) for more than three years now. Their Ruminations (Inner Circle 020) shows the sort of subtle interplay a piano trio ideally develops when they grow together as a unit. Yeager plays a thoughtfully subtle, harmonically advanced sort of piano with great touch. Gamlieli shows sensitive accompanying abilities and the ability to step out in front of the ensemble and say something when called upon to do so. Gleichman contributes the dynamically interactive drumming this sort of trio demands.

There's a nicely done version of "Summertime" and otherwise some very varied and grounded Yeager originals that show he has a knack for memorable melodies and improvisational springboards.

There are guest tenor and fluegel soloists on a few cuts and they do good work; there's a cameo appearance by vocalist Aubrey Johnson; and a string quartet opens up the sound for the moving "Lullaby for a Better World."

This is music of substance and the Yeager Trio is a group that I hope will travel far and wide and get the attention it deserves. Nice!

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