From the cover art to the eight original compositions, June Diva
, the début recording by the Dusty York Trio, exudes understated elegance. Featuring York (tenor saxophone), Keith Brush (bass), and Ken Paine (drums), the Portland, Oregon-based trio recalls the uncluttered sound of classic Blue Note-style hard bop.
On "Union Station," the trio convincingly conjures the bustle and hard-driving energy summoned by the title. While Paine fires up a headlong shuffle, Brush grounds the enterprise with a steady pulse, on top of which York races ahead and just as quickly stops on his heels with subtle squawks.
Thoughtful track sequencing places the placid "The Carmen Tone" after the frenetic "Union Square." The listener may imagine the harried traveler of the preceding tune indulging a few moments for thought after having precariously caught the train. York plays the languid melody gently, almost wistfully. Behind him, Paine carefully places rolling fills. Brush's bass solo features the murmuring personal logic of an internal monologue.
With eight compositions of such uniform quality aligned with sympathetic musicianship, there is an undeniable upside to the Dusty York Trio that makes me await their next effort optimistically. The prospect that the next project is apparently a live album featuring the leader's father, Portland tenor star Michael York, only increases expectations. This is definitely an outfit to keep on the radar screen.