Larry Fuller Trio at The Jazz Corner

Martin McFie By

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The Lary Fuller Trio
The Jazz Corner
Hilton Head Island, SC
November 9-10, 2018

The Larry Fuller Trio came into Hilton Head, SC from Asheville to play The Jazz Corner. Next stop for them is home to New York City then Denver, Las Vegas, and out along the Californian coast.

Larry Fuller plays piano with energy and verve delivering every note evenly. The quality of his music is so high it can have a lulling effect: it demands concentration if the listener is to fully appreciate it. It is always a compliment when local pianists line the back wall capturing the music and technique with their cell phones. Fuller was joined by former Professor Jason Tiemann on crisp drums and George DeLancey on his own bass which he drove down from New York, collecting the other band members in Asheville along the way.

They started out with a Johnny Mandel tune "Close enough for Love." Mandel was also recognized for his screen compositions for "M*A*S*H" and "Agatha," the story of the breakdown and disappearance of mystery authoress Agatha Christie. The trio played a couple of blues-styled pieces, one composed by all-time great trumpet soloist Thad Jones who wrote "Don't get Sassy" and another, a Beach Boys number, "The Girl from New York City." Fuller formerly played piano with legendary bassist Ray Brown, who was briefly the husband and always the friend of Ella Fitzgerald. Fuller celebrated the association with his former bandleader by playing one of Brown's own compositions, "Lined with a Groove."

Fuller is not genre-bound in his musical choices, in fact he seeks out the unusual, joining together melody jigsaws by varying tempi and styles. In a seemingly unusual pairing, the trio played Duke Ellington's "Reflections in D" fused together with the classic Joni Mitchell folk tune "Both Sides Now" the pieces flowed together slowly with depth and an unexpected ease.

Altogether an interesting, unusual and adventurous set list played with energy, crisp finishes and superb crafting.

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