289

Lee Shaw Trio: Blossom

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
Lee Shaw Trio: Blossom Curiously, it happens that one of the most exciting "young" pianists on the scene today is an eighty-something year-old woman named Lee Shaw. Shaw's playing has an energy and freshness that sounds great alongside other new rising stars of the piano-trio idiom: Aaron Goldberg, Aaron Parks, Robert Glasper, Yaron Herman and Elan Mehler.

Shaw's story is recounted in a DVD documentary included with her 2008 release, Live In Graz (Artists Recording Collective). For many years she led a rhythm section with her husband, drummer Stan Shaw, that backed up visiting horn players in Albany. Some time after Stan died, Lee decided she wanted to be a pianist who made records of her own material and toured around the world. And that's what she does now.

If anything, Blossom is even better than the live record, with tighter, more focused performances. Like its predecessor, this disc leans heavily on Shaw's compositions, in addition to a couple of covers and a handful of tunes by her fellow trio members. Sometimes it sounds a little like we're back in an Albany night club, sometime in 1975, as on a rollicking reading of Fats Navarro's "Fats' Blues," and that's fine. Other times, Shaw, drawing on those decades of club playing, creates something entirely new.

Shaw's "Blossom" is a tune that Bill Evans would have loved to play, and the fact that he never will can be rued, the lovely version here is wonderful compensation. At times, Shaw's playing—for example, on her own "Blues 11"— has something of McCoy Tyner's quality in his initial days with John Coltrane's quartet back in the early 1960s. There's a kind of sweetness, but also some deep, subterranean currents barely being contained by the confines of the composition. (For Tyner, those undercurrents would burst free in the latter Coltrane days.)

Shaw's compositions and playing are both buoyed by vast reserves of experience and depth, but another reason the Shaw trio holds its own in the crowded field of piano trios is the empathy among the trio members. Bassist Rich Syracuse and drummer Jeff "Siege" Siegel's extended, fluid Latin introduction to "Holiday" bears eloquent witness to many years of working together.


Track Listing: Blossom; Fats' Blues; Blues 11; Holiday; Algo Triste; Cool Jack; Shifting Sands; Virtuoso Rag; Sleeper; Nipper's Dream.

Personnel: Lee Shaw: piano; Rich Syracuse: bass; Jeff "Siege" Siegel: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: ARC - Artists Recording Collective | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "The Candy Men" CD/LP/Track Review The Candy Men
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 28, 2016
Read "Flow" CD/LP/Track Review Flow
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 9, 2016
Read "Cantos Invisíveis" CD/LP/Track Review Cantos Invisíveis
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Fellow Creatures" CD/LP/Track Review Fellow Creatures
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 25, 2016
Read "Slag" CD/LP/Track Review Slag
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 29, 2017
Read "The Way You Look Tonight" CD/LP/Track Review The Way You Look Tonight
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!