Throughout its album of Jacques Chanier’s compositions, this Boston-based trio improvises with meaningful dialogue. Brushes swirl complacently around “Quiet Memories” while piano and bass stroll along a meandering path. “Blue Bec” integrates jazz with classical, while “Naïve Cat” infuses a folk song quality. Chanier’s title track moves briskly through one scene after another with seamless motion. Each of the three artists contributes equally with polished compassion. Impressionism can sometimes lead individuals toward separate paths, but Chanier’s trio has strong ties. Relying on a natural cohesion, the threesome stands unified. They’re at their best with Chanier’s exotic “Remembering Miles.” Dense harmony, intricate rhythms and layered melodies provide an appropriate tribute to the jazz giant.
An acoustic piano trio can express in many different ways. Chanier’s ensemble succeeds through the use of three factors: (1) exceptional musicianship, (2) creative starting-point compositions, and (3) cohesion. The pianist’s fresh ideas would stand unnoticed without the other two points. His final number, “Hymn,” for example, would fade inconspicuously were it not for the manner in which the trio expresses it. With flapping brushes and a meter-less bass pulse alongside, Jacques Chanier spreads his harmonious ideas out for all to see and understand.
Personnel: Jacques Chanier- piano; Thomson Kneeland- bass; Brooke Sofferman- drums.