Identity is yet another fine piano trio recording brought to us by “Leo Records” featuring the expertise of pianist Michel Wintsch, bassist Ban Oester and all-world drummer-composer Gerry Hemingway. Here each musician contributes compositions that run the gamut from being tightly integrated or classically tinged such as Wintsch’ “Choucas” and “Anne-Marie S” along with spotty doses of congenial swing motifs and gleaming tonal contrasts all performed via a well-mannered and orderly approach. On Hemingway’s composition “NT”, Wintsch displays a massive yet eloquently stated percussive attack behind the keys along with a lightning quick right hand. The Trio also explore various themes via sharp, brilliantly executed improvisation on pieces such as “Link” where Hemingway’s sweeping brush-work sets an unusual pattern followed by Wintsch’ circular passages. “Driving Home” is a moderate swing in the classic piano trio mold as Wintsch’ employs soulful passages that may fit somewhere in between Junior Mance and Monk as Oester and Hemingway stretch out with poignant well-executed solos.
Identity is persuasive, distinctive and at times striking as these musicians fuse their individual talents from a compositional and technical perspective which adds a nice touch of diversity along with a few surprises here and there. Throughout, the band state their collective identities in outward and for the most part, glistening fashion while providing the listener with captivating themes along with zealous soloing and a compelling sense of unity. A first class effort and thoroughly modernistic approach to the beloved piano trio format! Recommended...........* * * *
Leo Records website; www.atlas.co.uk/leorecords/
Or check out Michel Wintsch’ home page at...www.home.worldcom.ch/mwintsch
I was first exposed to jazz while working overseas in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I would listen to the Voice of America on the radio and they had a nightly jazz program on at 10:00pm. I learned a lot about jazz listening to this program. I also had a friend who listened to real jazz by artists like Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Archie Shepp. On my way home from Africa I landed in New York and had the opportunity to see the George Adams/Don Pullen quartet at the Village Vanguard as well as Kenny Barron and Ron Carter at another club, and was in heaven.