The Joe LoCascio Trio: Close to So Far (2002)

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I must have reviewed too many piano trio albums recently. Here’s another one, led by pianist Joe LoCascio, and I’m thinking as I test the water, yeah, it’s nicely played so why am I unmoved by it? But wait a minute; here’s a number with promise — the title track, “Close to So Far.” That one really swings! Inspired playing by LoCascio, inflexible support from bassist John Adams and drummer Tim Solook. Things may be looking up. The folk–like “For You” is another winner, as is the ballad “And Her Look Touching the Air” (with tasteful brushwork by Solook and a limber solo by Adams). LoCascio bares his formidable chops again on “Edland,” on which the trio work seamlessly together, and Adams uses the arco to good effect to help introduce the dark–hued “Purgatory, TX.” LoCascio flies solo on the playful “Idiot’s Delight,” is suitably pensive on the balladic “Goodbye Moment,” crisp and sharply focused on the bustling “Big Motel,” and on his own again for the luminous finale, “Catherine.” All of the compositions are LoCascio’s, and one certainly can’t discredit any of them, nor can the trio be taken to task for any discernible weaknesses. On the other hand, I can’t honestly agree that “LoCascio reaches the level of ensemble excitement which surrounded Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk . . .” (Jeff Kaliss, in Jazz Times ). He has assembled a first–rate group, but it’s not that good. When the last overtones of Close to So Far have faded away the seminal opinion remains essentially unaltered — a splendid piano trio album with much to recommend it but hardly more admirable than a number of others we’ve heard in the past year or so.

Contact: Heart Music, P.O. Box 160326, Austin, TX 78716–0326. Phone 512–795–2375; e–mail info@heartmusic.com; Web site, www.heartmusic.com

Track Listing: Turnabout; In the Quiet of Autumn; Close to So Far; For You; And Her Look Touching the Air; Edland; Purgatory, TX; Idiot’s Delight; A Goodbye Moment; Big Motel; Catherine (57:21).

Personnel: Joe LoCascio, piano; John Adams, bass; Tim Solook, drums.

Record Label: Heart Music

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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