If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.
You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...
Sometimes it feels like there's a glut of piano trios out there, so it could be argued that it takes something special for one to stand out. Whatever that special something might be, these guys have got it. Pianist Craig Taborn, bassist William Parker and drummer Gerald Cleaver have the ability to produce work that's never stale. But saying that they always come to play doesn't do them justice: individually and collectively, they have a knack for carving out their own space, and this program makes that point in no uncertain terms.
The trio's been together for four years, and that experience comes out in the opening "For Fred Anderson" which, with its grace and solemnity leaves no doubt about the trio's sadness at Anderson's loss. But what makes that feel even more significant is the way in which all three players work with the kind of unassuming reverence which is easily talked about but nowhere near as easily struck.
"Out Of This World's Distortions Grow Aspens and Other Beautiful Things" highlights a trio defined by subtlety, but there's also some deep listening going on. Parker is at a stage in his life where two notes from his bass can carry authority, while Taborn's shading is the work of a man alert to worlds of possibility. Cleaver's also a musician capable of extraordinary subtlety, and the result of this collective effort is a three-way discussion of a highly cerebral but earthy order.
Parker picks his bow up for "Cutting's Gait." In a sense, the music indicates how these guys tap into something so deep they could probably maintain such quiet intensity for hours. Up to a point, this renders the physical means by which the music is produced irrelevant, but there should be no doubt about the music's underlying humanity, especially as it's this very quality that keeps it well outside of the pack and inhabiting an expansive yet highly personal space.
Track Listing: For Fred Anderson; Tait's Traced Traits; Out Of This World's Distortions Grow Aspens and Other Beautiful Things; Sir Snacktray Speaks; Cutting's Gait; Mud, Mapped.
Personnel: Craig Taborn: piano; William Parker: bass; Gerald Cleaver: drums.
I love jazz because there are so many styles and ways to interpret the music--so much room for creativity.
I was first exposed to jazz at a very young age, listening to great artists such as Nat King Cole and Lena Horne.