Another superb piano trio, this one from the Boston area and comprised of names that were unknown to us but no less impressive than many who are. The pianist, John Harrison III, is a forceful two–handed player who always knows precisely where he has been and where he is going. Drummer Alan Hall and bassist Peter Kontrimas forge a solid substratum, allowing Harrison to traverse his sinuous musical pathways without fear of mishap. The recipe calls for straight–ahead Jazz that is pleasing to the ear and cooks vigorously when necessary, as on “It’s You or No One” or “The Way You Look Tonight.” Those treasured standards are complemented by one other, Ann Ronell’s ballad “Willow Weep for Me,” Harrison’s “Roman Sun,” Thelonious Monk’s “Rhythm–a–Ning” and the lesser–known but altogether charming “Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers,” “Watching the Years Go By,” “Ballad of the Sad Young Men,” “Velas” and “You Won’t Forget Me.” There are no liner notes to indicate whether these three gentlemen play together on a regular basis but I’d suspect that they do, as the rapport among them is exceptional, especially at faster tempos where one slip can be calamitous. This is Harrison’s second trio album and a good one it is, easily recommended to those who appreciate the earnest collaborative efforts of three perceptive and talented musicians.
Contact:Whaling City Sound, 560 Pleasant Street, PMB #01, New Bedford, MA 02740–6236. Web site, www.whalingcitysound.com
Personnel: John Harrison III, piano; Peter Kontrimas, bass; Alan Hall, drums.