One of Europe's top jazz trio groups is simply named The MUH Trio, with the acronym representing world-renowned Italian pianist Roberto Magris, and bassist Frantisek Uhlir and drummer Jaromír Helešic, both prominent on the European jazz scene, most notably in Prague. Though playing together for some time, A Step Into Light is the group's second album and follow up to their critically-acclaimed debut Prague After Dark (2017, JMood Records).
The music can be described as traditional straight-ahead jazz packing quite a punch for a standard piano trio. Providing a set of primarily original material from Magris and Uhlir, the group does touch on three standards from the likes of Bobby Troop, Cole Porter and the great Billy Strayhornall together delivering quite an enjoyable and dynamic session of pure jazz.
The title track leads the set and begins with a brief four-note intro that develops quickly and nicely with solo excursions from the bassist and constant cymbal splashes accompanying Magris's rhythmic play on the most ambitious tune of the set at nearly nine-minutes in duration. With a deep affinity for the blues, Magris' tender interpretation of the standard "The Meaning of the Blues," is just one of the many highlights of this album. The group performs a fast tempo version of Porter's "What is this thing Called Love," before settling down on the love ballad of "Waltz for Sonny."
The pianist shows his mastery of his instrument on such tracks as "Continued Light," and "Italy" where drummer Helesic also displays a bit of his talent. The last standard here is the Strayhorn classic "Lush Life," delivered with a fresh new arrangement that shines brightly, a rendition for the ages. The music turns south on the bossa nova-styled "Bosa Cosa," and comes to a close on the Magris original "Here We Are," capping one of the finest jazz trio sessions around.
There's little doubt about this one, it certainly is A Step Into Light as evidenced by the sound and magic produced by The MUH Trio, European jazz mastery at it's best.
A Step Into Light; The Meaning of the Blues; What is this thing Called Love; Waltz for Sonny; Continued Light; Italy; Giulio; Lush Life; Our Blues; Here We Are.
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