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

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Read more articles
An Upper West Side Story

An Upper West Side...

Yummyhouse Records
2008

buy
Trio West Plays Holiday Songs

Trio West Plays...

Yummyhouse Records
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read This Should Be Fun Album Reviews
This Should Be Fun
By David A. Orthmann
April 20, 2019
Read Transoceanico Album Reviews
Transoceanico
By Patrick Burnette
April 20, 2019
Read Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection Album Reviews
Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 20, 2019
Read Live in Newcastle, December 8, 1972 Album Reviews
Live in Newcastle, December 8, 1972
By John Kelman
April 19, 2019
Read HUJE 2018 Album Reviews
HUJE 2018
By Jack Bowers
April 19, 2019
Read Farallon Album Reviews
Farallon
By Jerome Wilson
April 19, 2019
Read Burning Meditation Album Reviews
Burning Meditation
By John Sharpe
April 18, 2019