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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Brian Trainor: Tangled Roots

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For the sake of love and genuine friendship, Brian Trainor composed this suite of mellow tunes. Each depicts one special aspect of a specific personal relationship. At the same time, Trainor’s impressionism allows the listener to share in those themes. Dancing a tango, riding bicycles together, sharing quiet moments, discussing world affairs and personal thoughts: these are the sources that we can all appreciate. The trio establishes each theme clearly. Trainor lights a few fires and expands several pieces beyond just one theme. The music of traditional Spain is represented; as is the street scene of New Orleans and Rio. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Brian Trainor: Monk & Me

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For a few years in the early 90s I ran a coffeehouse that weekly (some say weakly) presented local jazz acts. From fusion to solo piano, I had but one requirement of any musician. Play at least one Thelonious Monk tune per night and the gig was yours. Deviously simple, Monk’s music always separates the talented from the fake. I regularly challenged them by requesting “Epistrophy, “Evidence,” and “Trinkle-Tinkle.” Most beginners choose the Blues, “Straight, No Chaser.” Chicken! Monk, to me is incomparable as an original composer whose music is instantly recognizable. That may be why piano tribute albums to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Brian Trainor: Monk And Me

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Pianist Brian Trainor salutes Thelonious Monk by interpreting four of the legendary artist’s compositions and supplying several of his own. Choosing to work with his piano trio on most tracks (bassist Vince Fay and drummer Bill Jones), the native of Trenton, New Jersey catches fire with a percussive approach that honors both Monk’s quirky piano style and his unpredictable compositions.

Guest trumpeter John Swana opts for electronic valve instrument on “Hackensack." Fitting the role and range of a floating soprano saxophone, he blends with the quartet, offering a timbre similar to that of an electronic keyboard. Stiff and lacking overtones, ...



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