Upper Left Trio: Cycling (2003)
Fully integrated, the trio acts a unit as opposed to a collection of three individuals. Clay Giberson displays a piano gift that crosses Horace Tapscot with Tommy Flanagan. His playing with the rhythm section of drummer Charlie Doggett and bassist Jeff Leonard displays the true nature of solution in music. Each musician is fully dissolved in the other. This is best illustrated on the opener, "Fine Line," where Giberson presents a standard introduction before melting with the other band members. "The Start and the End" is the best ballad on the recording, with Doggett’s perfectly accenting drumming spurring the elasticity of Leonard’s bass beneath Giberson’s melodic concept. The breezy gospel tune "Up and Away" weaves in and out of the blues and avant-garde. "Cycling" begins with some elastic virtuosity from Leonard, who sets up a bit of a space mood for the piece that ends up being reflective and outspoken.
This disc will appeal to all mainstream listeners who find MM&W too far out there and the Bad Plus too frenetic and loud, while at the same time being a bit bored with the older artists. If this describes you as a listener, pick up a copy of Cycling.
For more information, see Origin Records .
Track Listing: Fine Line; The Start And The End; Funzies; There
Personnel: Charlie Doggett