All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


3Play+: American Waltz

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
3Play+ are a quartet, featuring trumpeter Phil Grenadier, pianist Josh Rosen, bassist Lello Molinari and drummer Marcello Pellitteri. Originally a trio, the band became 3Play+ with the addition of Grenadier; presumably the idea of calling the band 4Play was dismissed at an early stage. On the group's debut, American Waltz, it is joined on some tracks by guitarist Mick Goodrick and tenor saxophonist George Garzone.

Rosen and Molinari are both professors at Boston's Berklee College of Music. Pianist Rosen wrote all but one of the album's eight tracks, demonstrating both the range of his musical influences and his flexibility as a composer.

The album's eponymous opening track is a gentle ¾ time tune that takes its inspiration from the roots of American folk music, and is reminiscent of bands like Hem. Rosen's introduction is beautiful, setting the scene for Goodrick, Grenadier and Molinari to enter one at a time and gradually build up the tune's layers until Grenadier brings the melody back in to close the piece. Garzone takes the central role on "Buttah," a tune inspired by Sonny Rollins' classic "Oleo" that is driven by Pellitteri's funky drumming as Garzone plays a fluid solo.

"How Do I Know What I Don't Know?" is the album's most beautiful and immediate tune. Grenadier's muted trumpet playing, a strength on the whole CD, is especially effective here. The melody line seems to demand a lyric—with the right words this could become a popular addition to the jazz songbook. "Happy Cramping" is a group composition which opens with a fast, bop-flavored solo from Grenadier. Molinari and Pellitteri soon add a tight rhythmic underpinning that keeps the tune together as Rosen takes over from Grenadier and the piece becomes more free-form.

The closing "Bulletrain" is a 20-minute opus which seems to have left the musical roots displayed on "American Waltz" far behind until, that is, about nine minutes in, when the free-form playing blends almost seamlessly into a clearly recognizable blues. Goodrick's guitar part is a key element, whether he's playing solo or in unison with Grenadier.

American Waltz showcases a fine set of tunes, played with skill and enthusiasm by a talented and innovative set of musicians.

Track Listing: American Waltz: Buttah; Happy Cramping; How Do I Know What I Don

Personnel: Phil Grenadier: trumpet; Josh Rosen: piano; Lello Molinari: bass; Marcello Pellitteri: drums; Mick Goodrick: guitar; George Garzone: tenor saxophone.

Title: American Waltz | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Ziggle Zaggle Music


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles


Fresh Sound New Talent



Orbis Music

American Waltz

American Waltz

Ziggle Zaggle Music



Fresh Sound New Talent


Related Articles

Read Peaks of Light CD/LP/Track Review
Peaks of Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 18, 2018
Read In Denmark I Was Born CD/LP/Track Review
In Denmark I Was Born
by Gareth Thompson
Published: March 18, 2018
Read Dreams of Belonging CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams of Belonging
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 18, 2018
Read In Copenhagen - Live at Jazzhus Slukefter 1983 CD/LP/Track Review
In Copenhagen - Live at Jazzhus Slukefter 1983
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 18, 2018
Read A Year Ago Today CD/LP/Track Review
A Year Ago Today
by Doug Collette
Published: March 18, 2018
Read Ravensburg CD/LP/Track Review
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 17, 2018
Read "Small Pieces" CD/LP/Track Review Small Pieces
by James Nadal
Published: April 6, 2017
Read "Déjà Vu" CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017
Read "Wake Up Call" CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Liquid Melodies" CD/LP/Track Review Liquid Melodies
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 1, 2017
Read "East West Time Line" CD/LP/Track Review East West Time Line
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "One Night in Indy" CD/LP/Track Review One Night in Indy
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 15, 2018