484

Steve Blanco Trio: Piano Warrior

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Steve Blanco Trio: Piano Warrior A true piano warrior in every sense, Steve Blanco's second solo release offers an expansion to applications previously encountered via Contact, his independent 2006 trio debut. He offers the antidote to the customary trio format with an abundance of jazz-based thematic forays that project a contrasting spell to the typical ballad-bop-swing concepts.

Blanco combats any semblance of piano trio listening fatigue with explosive themes, subtle nuances and unanticipated shifts in tempo. The crack rhythm section abets the leader's cause as they mix it up with off kilter hooks, and avant-garde breakdowns amid transformations of jazz stylizations into hard-hitting grooves. Blanco also renders massive block chords against snappy rock pulses while injecting mesmeric crescendos into various regions of sound.

It's a divergent set, evidenced by the trio's rather sanctified reading of Pink Floyd's "Us and Them" and other pieces, marked by the pianist's fluent reengineered maneuvers. Blanco also fuses swift bop and swing vamps into climactic opuses, all topped off by eloquence and powerful coiling diversions. Another album highlight is steeped within the band's literal reading of Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog." Here, drummer Sunny Jain strokes the bell of his ride cymbal in the same manner as Led Zep drummer John Bonham, yet the trio sojourn's into a raucous jazz meltdown during the bridge.

Blanco veers from the norm but doesn't necessarily stray too far from conventional jazz-centric mechanisms. He straddles the best of many musical worlds, and uncannily merges them into a persuasive vernacular, riding high with striking dynamism and highly entertaining attributes. Here's hoping that Blanco records more often.


Track Listing: Sadness & the Madness; Us and Them; A.V.S.; Piano Warrior; Laughing Planet; Brother Song 2; Underground; 5 3 5; Black Dog; Final Voyage.

Personnel: Steve Blanco: piano; Adam Roberts: bass; Sunny Jain: drums.

Title: Piano Warrior | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Art of Life Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Jaco Pastorius" CD/LP/Track Review Jaco Pastorius
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: October 17, 2016
Read "Waltz About Nothing" CD/LP/Track Review Waltz About Nothing
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 3, 2016
Read "Overseas V" CD/LP/Track Review Overseas V
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 30, 2017
Read "3rio" CD/LP/Track Review 3rio
by Pascal-Denis Lussier
Published: May 1, 2017
Read "B3tles: A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four" CD/LP/Track Review B3tles: A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 6, 2017
Read "Sounding Tears" CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 16, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.