Another superb piano trio, this one from the Boston area and comprised of names that were unknown to us but no less impressive than many who are. The pianist, John Harrison III, is a forceful two–handed player who always knows precisely where he has been and where he is going. Drummer Alan Hall and bassist Peter Kontrimas forge a solid substratum, allowing Harrison to traverse his sinuous musical pathways without fear of mishap. The recipe calls for straight–ahead Jazz that is pleasing to the ear and cooks vigorously when necessary, as on “It’s You or No One” or “The Way You Look Tonight.” Those treasured standards are complemented by one other, Ann Ronell’s ballad “Willow Weep for Me,” Harrison’s “Roman Sun,” Thelonious Monk’s “Rhythm–a–Ning” and the lesser–known but altogether charming “Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers,” “Watching the Years Go By,” “Ballad of the Sad Young Men,” “Velas” and “You Won’t Forget Me.” There are no liner notes to indicate whether these three gentlemen play together on a regular basis but I’d suspect that they do, as the rapport among them is exceptional, especially at faster tempos where one slip can be calamitous. This is Harrison’s second trio album and a good one it is, easily recommended to those who appreciate the earnest collaborative efforts of three perceptive and talented musicians.
Contact:Whaling City Sound, 560 Pleasant Street, PMB #01, New Bedford, MA 02740–6236. Web site, www.whalingcitysound.com
Track Listing: It's You or No One, Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers, Watching the Years Go By, Roman Sun, Ballad of the Sad Young Men, The Way You Look Tonight, Velas, Willow Weep for Me, You Won't Forget Me, Rhythm-A-Ning
Personnel: John Harrison III, piano; Peter Kontrimas, acoustic bass; Alan Hall, drums
I love jazz because it is in my blood. It is the only original American art form. It is sacred. The greatest musicians are jazz artists.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 listening to my father's records of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young.
I met Sonny Stitt, Wayne Shorter, Branford Marsalis, Joey Calderazzo, Michael Brecker, Cannonball Adderley, Walter Booker, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, George Benson, Mike
Stern, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Harper, Skip Hadden, Charlie Haden.
The best show I ever attended was Joe Lovano with Soundprints at the Wexner Center in Columbus Ohio in 2014.
The first jazz record I bought was Miles Smiles.