196

Tobias Gebb & Trio West: An Upper West Side Story

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
After a 1997 Christmas recording debut, Trio West is back. This time, An Upper West Side Story features the threesome of Tobias Gebb on drums, Neal Miner on bass and Eldad Zvulun on piano, with a little help from their friends, saxophonist Joel Frahm and vocalist Champian Fulton.

Trio West plays extensively on the New York jazz scene. Its members have shared the stage or studio with a wide range of artists, including Cab Calloway, Steely Dan's Donald Fagen, Lenny Kravitz, Joe Lovano and Larry Goldings. The group's second release is a straight-ahead offering that includes original songs, jazz standards and other selections. The laid-back introduction to "Poinciana, What Time Is It?" is a bit misleading, for the song quickly gains speed with Gebb and Miner engaging in a happy-go-lucky background stroll as Zvulun takes the lead, the pace changing here and there as the song moves along. Gebb's work on the cymbals and snare stand out, and so does Miner's bass, though the piano is clearly the leading instrument.

"The Barnyard," one of four songs composed by Gebb, brings in Frahm on tenor sax. This track is aptly titled, as the music sets to mind the vision of strutting roosters, wallowing pigs and small children playing with them. It's a fun, energetic tune.

Fulton joins Trio West and Frahm for "Autumn Serenade." This charming arrangement of the standard is highlighted by Fulton's soft, alto-flute voice and Frahm's tenor solo. Though faintly in the background, Trio West isn't obscured by their presence. On the contrary, all three instruments are felt, making for a well-balanced rendition. Fulton and Frahm appear again on the delightfully romantic "What a Little Moonlight Can Do," in which the vocalist also shows her scatting ability in a call-and-response sequence with Frahm. After a fast pace for most of the composition, the ensemble downshifts to a swing mode toward the end.

Whether alone as a threesome or accompanied, Trio West delivers. An Upper West Side Story—a double entendre that pays homage to the popular musical while recognizing New York's Upper West Side—is nearly an hour's worth of fulfillment and satisfaction.

Track Listing: Poinciana, What Time Is It?; Brasil Bela; The Barnyard; Star-Crossed Lovers; Autumn Serenade; Cute; Wil O'the Wisp; What a Little Moonlight Can Do; Two by Two; How Deep Is the Ocean; The Monument (Soldiers and Sailors); And I Love Her.

Personnel: Tobias Gebb: drummer, composer, arranger; Neal Miner: bass; Eldad Zvulun: piano; Joel Frahm: tenor saxophone (3, 5, 8, 12); Champian Fulton: vocals (3, 8).

Title: An Upper West Side Story | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Yummyhouse Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Numbers" CD/LP/Track Review Numbers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 30, 2017
Read "Move Upstairs" CD/LP/Track Review Move Upstairs
by James Nadal
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "Astrometrics" CD/LP/Track Review Astrometrics
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 13, 2017
Read "Official Bootleg: Live in Chicago, June 28th, 2017" CD/LP/Track Review Official Bootleg: Live in Chicago, June 28th, 2017
by John Kelman
Published: October 12, 2017
Read "Eos" CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House" CD/LP/Track Review 92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 5, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.