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Bruce Barth Trio: New York City, March 3, 2011

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Bruce Barth Trio
Smalls
New York City, USA
March 3, 2011

On Thursday night, March 3, 2011, at Smalls in New York City, pianist Bruce Barth
Bruce Barth
Bruce Barth
b.1958
piano
, bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Adam Cruz
Adam Cruz
Adam Cruz
b.1970
drums
delighted an audience of jazz aficionados, gathered for a lovely CD release party for Bruce Barth Trio, The Flail, and the surprising Cyrille Aimee + Friends, with singer Aimee's beautifully raucous and raspy voice quieting the chatty room of jazz lovers to a hush. All three groups are on SmallsLIVE, the one year-old record label headed by pianist Spike Wilner
Spike Wilner
Spike Wilner

piano
, Smalls' partner and manager. Wilner, who also performed that evening, is on Aimee's album, as is trumpeter Roy Hargrove
Roy Hargrove
Roy Hargrove
b.1969
trumpet
.

Wilner's label has recorded the likes of Jeremy Pelt
Jeremy Pelt
Jeremy Pelt
b.1976
trumpet
, Luis Perdomo
Luis Perdomo
Luis Perdomo
b.1971
piano
, Ari Hoenig
Ari Hoenig
Ari Hoenig
b.1973
drums
, Mulgrew Miller
Mulgrew Miller
Mulgrew Miller
1955 - 2013
piano
, Steve Wilson
Steve Wilson
Steve Wilson
b.1961
sax, alto
, and many other enlightened performers. Live recordings at Smalls, which is what the label is about, allow some of the most riveting music to continue being alive and true to its authentic improvisational nature, since SmallsLIVE offers total artistic freedom to the musicians, who decide what they want to include in each recording.

Barth's music—full of subtlety, depth and truth—was created by a felicitous connection; a communion between the three inspired artists. During two sets on Thursday evening, Cruz showed real moments of virtuosity and shed light, in many ways, on what the drums are. His rigor and rhythmical creativity kept the dialogue going between the three musicians; also adding, at times, to the softness created by his signature as well as Archer's timber. Barth's Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
1917 - 1982
piano
-ian influences and reminders lovingly mingled with the ravishing interpretation of Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
1915 - 1959
vocalist
's "Good Morning Heartache," and George Gershwin
George Gershwin
George Gershwin
1898 - 1937
composer/conductor
's "My Man's Gone Now." Barth also sounded very Latin at times, as well as bluesy, in the last tune of the first set.

Cruz's latest album, Milestone (Sunnyside, 2011), features saxophonists Miguel Zenon
Miguel Zenon
Miguel Zenon
b.1976
saxophone
, Steve Wilson
Steve Wilson
Steve Wilson
b.1961
sax, alto
and Chris Potter
Chris Potter
Chris Potter
b.1971
reeds
> as well as guitarist Steve Cardenas, pianist Edward Simon
Edward Simon
Edward Simon
b.1969
piano
and bassist Ben Street
Ben Street
Ben Street

bass
. Composed of eight long titles- with "Emje" nearing the 13-minute mark, the CD is a collection of luminous moments, which might in part stem from Cruz's fruitful collaboration with musicians such as pianist Danilo Perez
Danilo Perez
Danilo Perez
b.1966
piano
.

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