The piano-bass-drum trio format is a classic configuration in jazz, and with good reason: given the right musicians, this particular combination of instruments forms a perfect sonic triangle. As the jazz world mourns the November 2011 death of drummer Paul Motian
a member of pianist Bill Evans
's paradigm-shifting trio, along with gifted bassist Scott LaFaro
it's good to hear Capri Records' Anticipation,
which carries the tradition forward via three talented musicians.
Throughout the CD, drummer Colin Stranahan
, pianist Glenn Zaleski
, and bassist Rick Rosato
achieve a seamless harmony, which all three felt the first time they played together at a 2010 concert series in Montréal, Canada. The three musicians are fluent in the traditional jazz language, but have plenty to say of their own: although Anticipation
acknowledges the classics with several standards, it also includes three tunes by Zaleski, two by Rosato, and one by Stranahan, all revealing the musicians to be fine songwriters.
Highlights include a beautiful up-tempo version of the Jerome Kern
classic "All the Things You Are." The tune is spritely and swinging, fast and flowing, with each member adding their distinctive voice throughout: Zaleski's touch on piano is sure and nimble, Rosato's bass lines warm and inventive, and Stranahan's drumming pleasingly crisp. Zaleski's "On the Road" is a jaunty number with a lively melody, where the trio creates a swing that manages to be driving and oh so light at the same time. Stranahan's "First Rain" is a gorgeous mood piece, with his shivering cymbals evoking the feeling of rain on glass. It's a wonderfully spare, evocative tune, showing how spacious and economical this group can be. And what's not to like about the group's interpretation of trumpeter Miles Davis
and arranger/pianist Gil Evans
's classic "Boplicity," where the group conveys the melody with such joy and ease? Anticipation
was released by Capri Records, located in Bailey, Colorado, altitude 7,756 feetwhich surely allows the label to claim its place as one of the highest record companies in the world. Capri has been putting out fine jazz since 1983, and although its catalog includes releases by bassist Ray Brown
, saxophonist Bob Cooper
, and trombonist Curtis Fuller
, the label enjoys launching careers as well. Like the trio from Anticipation
, Capri is steeped in tradition but looking forward, allowing the newest generation of jazz musicians to express themselves in all their fullness and creativity.