Robert Spencer joined All About Jazz in 1997
There are six originals by Karayorgis, one from McBride, and covers of Duke Ellington's "Frustration," Eric Dolphy's "Miss Ann," and Ken McIntyre's "Lautir," which McIntyre first recorded with Dolphy. "Lautir" is darker-edged than the original, enhancing the inherent exotica of the tune into a sense of real foreboding; "Miss Ann" is a rush of harmonic exploration that is barely recognizable. "Frustration" is given no less of a modernist reshaping, with fascinating interplay between Karayorgis' left-hand and then right-hand sallies, and McBride's bowed replies.
McBride is no less outstanding on Karayorgis' "What Did I Say?" and "How Daisies Jiggle." Both are angular, halting melodies, on which Karayorgis' searching piano musings are punctuated and underscored exquisitely by the bassist. Another Karayorgis piece, "Straight Blues," is a bit of a fib, although there is a blues skeleton here, over which Karayorgis plays like Stravinsky, when Igor was imagining what the ragtime he saw on a page of sheet music sounded like. That is no putdown: this is a reshaping of the blues, via the European classical tradition, for the ages. No less effective are Karayorgis' "I Heard Things," "Corpus Delicti," and the title track, and McBride's ironic call-and-response "Half Tilt."
This trio has found something new to say, and new ways to say it, in the well-traveled territory of the piano trio. This is an excellent disc, highly recommended.
Record Label: Leo Records
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