Bright, upbeat modern jazz from bassist/composer Chris Trinidad and his quartet. The Filipino-Canadian leader (now residing in the Bay Area) set out to make groove-oriented music; he structured the tunes with few chords (to give the soloists more freedom), and chose a low woodwind sound to occasionally double his bass riffs. The choice of instrumentation has the side benefit of giving the group a slightly unusual sound.
Baritone saxophonist Charlie Gurke doubles Trinidad's bass part right out of the gate on the opening "Inevitable Evolution" (which is part of the "Certain Times Suite" that takes up the first seven tracks of the album). The groove factor is further amplified by pianist Alex Conde, whose recent release Descarga for Monk (Zoho Music, 2015) amply demonstrated his way with rhythmic playing. Drummer Aaron Kierbel rounds out the quartet, providing the right level of energy and drive on every track.
The Suite offers a variety of moods, with two funk tunes ("Something New In The Familiar," and "Though Certainly Speaking") and two ballads ("Finding Somewhere Forever" and "Transcending December"). "December" furthers the bass/baritone pairing by giving the duo an unaccompanied section. The program ends with two compositions by other group members, which Trinidad labels "Certain Times Encore." Pianist Conde contributes "Jungle Street," a grooving, syncopated Latin tune. Saxophonist Gurke offers "Priority," a Latin/swing tune that gives Trinidad a chance to show off his walking bass chops, and the band to show how well they can swing.
The CD gatefold shows the four musicians standing together outside, smiling and laughing. It's an image that perfectly captures the mood of this recording.
Inevitable Evolution; Something New in the Familiar; The Benefit of Hindsight; Finding Somewhere Forever; A Reading In Retrospect; Transcending December; Though Certainly Speaking; Jungle Street; Priority
Chris Trinidad: bass guitar; Charlie Gurke: baritone saxophone; Alex Conde: piano; Aaron Kierbel; drum set.
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