The Detroit-based Trio Reenactment follows up its self-produced, self-titled 2008 debut
with What Once Was..."
, a piano trio set filled with catchy hooks, engaging can't-get-'em-outta-your-head melodies, a bunch of soul and funk, and some fine mainstream jazz tunes.
The set bounces to life with "Piano Mang," penned by Trio Reenactment's leader, bassist John Barron/Patrick Prouty
. It's an upbeat, gregarious tune with a memorable melody and a strutting vibe, sounding as if it could serve as theme song for a modern situation comedy in an urban setting.
The group's pianist, Sven Anderson, wrote "Eternal," a lovely, inward-looking ballad that features Barron (who is also a guitarist) taking a guitar-like bass lead. After an interlude, he hands off to Anderson, who sparkles in a drifting, lighter-than-air fashion.
Being Motor City guys, it seems appropriate to include a Motown Records hit from the 1960s. The Smokey Robinson-penned "Get Ready," a song that climbed the charts for The Temptations way back when, rolls along on a soulful groove, again showcasing Barron's gift for melodic bass playing.
The Barron-penned "Trio R" has a full-speed-ahead fusion feeling, with Anderson injecting an electric Joe Zawinul
-like sheen to the proceedings. Meanwhile, the title cut has a sense of inward longing. In a mainstream mood, "When You Speak, Do You Sleep?" features turbulent three-way interplay, and "Here to There" gets into a soulful, get-up-and-dance groove.
"Open Your Eyes" rumbles and rattles to life on Barron's deep bass lines, accompanied by Rob Emanuel's clattering drums and leading into Anderson's bright electric keyboard work. The trio closes the set with a beautifully wistful, Bill Evans
-like "Goodbye Larry."What Once Was..."
showcases a versatile trio in a highly engaging set of sounds.
Personnel: John Barron: bass; Sven Anderson: piano; Rob Emanuel: drums.