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Paul Rinzler Trio: Active Listening

Jim Santella By

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With detailed liner notes that explain his trio’s collective approach to each piece, Paul Rinzler describes which elements are improvised and which are composed. A straight-ahead jazz session, the trio’s program affords the listener an appreciation of how this sort of creation works in practice. The pianist and bassist may play a simple melody in unison once through to set the mood. Or the trio may have chord progressions laid out beforehand. Then, they improvise collectively by listening to each other, taking cues, and giving statements that describe their reactions. There are no standard tunes upon which to cling when indecision surfaces. Rather, the trio keeps a cohesive flow going at all times without any sign that this thought process could be anything other than automatic. The song titles serve to describe what impression the listener gains from this process. “Pow” has unexpected accents throughout, while “Groove Tune” swings like your favorite club date. “No Decision is Final” moves in unexpected directions like a Monk tune. Each artist offers a self-confident share of the program, from seamless bass phrases, to lyrical piano snippets of melody and a mood-altering variety of drum set textures. The pianist’s choice of harmony, for the most part, involves open spaces and simple consonance. Recommended, the Paul Rinzler Trio’s experience settles in for the listener as a collection of images that are made for pleasurable study and remain wide open for interpretation.

Track Listing: Pow; Circle; Pyre; Groove Tune; For You, For Me; No Decision is Final; It

Personnel: Paul Rinzler- piano; Jeff Norwood- bass; Darrell Voss- drums.

Title: Active Listening | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Sea Breeze Jazz


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