Negroni's Trio: On The Way (2012)
With its seventh album titled On The Way, Grammy-nominated Negroni's Trio celebrates its ten year anniversary with a live recording of eight originals and two well-known standards, with a little help from saxophonist great Ed Calle and violinist Federico Britos. The father and son team of pianist Jose and drummer Nomar Negroni, has been performing together for a decade and, throughout that time, has included such bassist as John Benitez, Marco Panascia and Jonathan Estes, with Josh Allen joining this version of the trio to form one of the most respected piano trios in the business.
Equally adept and comfortable performing elements of pop, Afro-Caribbean rhythms and Latin jazz music, for which the group received its Grammy consideration with Piano / Drums / Bass (Universal Latino, 2004), this anniversary issue, though infused with a touch of Latin and other styles , has a primarily progressive and modern jazz feel to it. Recorded live at the Miami-Dade Kendall Campus Theater in Miami, FL, the opening title track sets the stage for the entire album, with a strong statement that reveals sturdy and supple piano lines from the leader, supported by firm stick and bass work.
Blending shades of free form with a touch of classical, as expressed on the gorgeous piano introduction, the original "Matices" is certainly a challenging piece of music, complete with Calle's wild and furious phrasing. "Blue Forest" builds on the texture of "Matices," with the pianist leading the music to a more percussive direction that showcases the drummer's chops in a true partnership between father and son. Bruno Martino's Italian jazz standard, "Estaté," receives a humble welcome, as the trio performs the number in an elegant manner.
Superb solos from Allen and Calle are the featured highlights on Jose Negroni's original "Dancing With The Bass," which also happens to represent one of the album's outstanding moments. Infused with a touch of Latin tango, "Oak Tree" moves to an upbeat tempo carried by the pianist's deft right-hand, while the set's soft spot is reserved for the familiar "My Way," performed tenderly by the pianist and another defining highlight of the disc.
The celebration closes with exotic phrases from both Calle and the pianist on the breezy "Looking For You," ending with the classically tinged "Retrospection," a collaboration between Britos and Jose Negroni, both laying down light introspective sounds. The Negronis have provided a great deal of good music during the ten years of Negroni's Trio; On The Way serves to illuminate both a bright path and a long journey for one of the foremost and stylish piano trios in jazz today.
Track Listing: On The Way; Matices; Blue Forest; Estate; Dancing With The Bass; Oak Tree; Expressions; My Way; Looking For You; Retrospection.
Personnel: Jose Negroni: piano; Nomar Negroni: drums; Josh Allen: bass; Ed Calle: tenor saxophone (2, 5, 7, 9); Federico Britos: violin (10).
Record Label: Self Produced