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Negroni's Trio: Just Three

Woodrow Wilkins By

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One way to keep a piano-led trio from sounding like so many others is to write original music for the group. Another is to take a page out of Jose Negroni's playbook, splitting time between acoustic and electric pianos.

The Puerto Rican composer/pianist taught for 16 years at the Island's Music Conservatory. After moving to the United States, he became director of Sony Music Publishing, a position he held for 10 years. He has been nominated for a Latin Grammy, and his music has gotten as high as 15 on the Jazz Week charts. Negroni's play on the electric piano brings Eumir Deodato to mind, while his acoustic play more closely resembles that of Chick Corea.

Negroni's Trio includes his son Nomar on drums and, for Just Three, acoustic bassist Marco Panascia.

"Fingers" is a free-spirited piece, the trio jamming from the first note, the solos that follow riveting, and the background instrumentation superb. "Bailando Rumba" is a danceable Latin tune, where the bass lays down a groove that's soon accompanied by drums before the piano comes in. As the song picks up, the trio engages in a series of stop-time phrases. "Milani," although very different, employs similar elements. The acoustic piano solo is among the album's highlights, with the intensity high and the fingering swift.

"Preludio en la Noche" is a solo acoustic piano piece. Without accompaniment, Negroni begins coolly; the piece slow, quiet, almost brooding, but a bit disjointed. It shifts from an ambient melody to a hypnotic, oceanic passage.

Negroni's Trio participates in recording sessions and teachings at Miami Dade College's Latin Jazz Institute. The group has also performed at numerous festivals around the world. The music mingles jazz, Latin and African styles, with a hint of classical composition.

Track Listing: Fingers; Emotions; Bailando Rumba; Milani; Just Three; Golden Man; Mi Triguena; Preludio en La Noche; Sabado en La Noche.

Personnel: Jose Negroni: piano; Nomar Negroni: drums; Marco Panascia: acoustic bass.

Title: Just Three | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Mojito Records

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