The folks at Rhode Island-based, “Whaling City Sound” continue to highlight the abundance of jazz talent emanating from the New England area. The celebration surges onward with the debut release by the “John Harrison Trio.” On this newly issued outing, pianist John Harrison guides his rhythm section through a program consisting of standards, one Harrison original composition (“Roman Sun”) and a few less familiar works by others. Thus, nothing new or radically different yet Harrison is a zestful artist who often tantalizes his keys, while possessing a fluid right hand, which is starkly evident on the opener, “It’s You or No One.” However, drummer, Alan Hall and bassist, Peter Kontrimas should also be commended for their tightly integrated rhythms and peppery, upbeat sense of swing.
Overall, the band melds lush, grandiose melodies into its arsenal consisting of climactic developments, subtle interludes and multihued soundscapes, whereas Harrison’s elegant recitals become evident on the bouncy mid-tempo, “Roman Sun.” The trio renders a straightforward spin of, “The Way You Look Tonight” amid a soulful and lightly swinging take on, “Willow Weep for Me”. Otherwise, the pianist provides ample room for his accompanists to stretch their goods on this rather attractive set.