Pianist Tom Ranier, bassist Abe Laboriel and drummer Peter Donald are 3Prime, and the music they produce on this self–titled album, recorded live at Rocco in Bel Air, California, is Grade A Choice. While these are brash and assertive players who don’t tiptoe around the changes, the result of their endeavor is so synchronous that one would assume (correctly) that they’d been playing together for years. In other words, besides good hands they also have good ears and use them to good advantage. Donald, perhaps best known as a big–band drummer, can be subtle when he has to and fits quite snugly into the trio format (dig his tasteful brush / cymbal work on Frank Rosolino’s entrancing ballad, “Blue Daniel”). Laboriel, who uses every inch of his bass to elicit a variety of mesmerizing effects and sounds, carries the melody on “You Stepped Out of a Dream” (sounding much like a guitar) while Donald opens his own composition, “Snippy,” with a crisp two–minute solo before the others join in. Ranier, meanwhile, is one part playful, four parts percussive, dancing gracefully through Antonio Carlos Jobim’s supple “Jet Samba” and the introduction to “All the Things You Are” before assuming a more Tyneresque posture, as he does much of the time. Like McCoy, he hammers with a purpose, using his remarkable technique to amplify and enliven every measure. Ranier wrote two numbers, “Step Outside” and “Teach Me Your Paths,” while Laboriel contributed the rhythmically intense “Moment Out of Time” and Donald the soulful “Snippy.” “Paths,” at 12:33, is the longest track, “Dream” (4:37) the briefest, so there’s ample room for everyone to stretch. The trio nimbly alters tempo and dynamics to guard against flagging interest, a stratagem that pleases the audience at Rocco and should charm you as well.
Contact:Merle Kreibich, In–House Music, 310–391–1561. Fax 310–390–5895; e–mail email@example.com. Fuzzy Music, P.O. Box 3249, Santa Monica, CA 90408. Phone 310–399–1727; fax 310–399–0473; e–mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Web site, www.fuzzymusic.com
Personnel: Tom Ranier, piano; Abe Laboriel, electric bass; Peter Donald, drums.