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On Sense, pianist Toby Koenigsberg's trio offers up a wistful and straightforward take on the American Songbook classic "My Foolish Heart," including a poignant, spare reading of the familiar melody. However, everything else on the disc pushes the boundaries.
The trio opens and closes the set with tunes by the New York-based trumpeter Andre Canniere: "Thirteen Species" and "Realizing." Both, like much of this material, have a mildly (and sometimes not so mildly) surreal qualitynoir-ish in the case of the opener, bouncing and bright with the closer. Both are full of intrepid interplay, like a mainstream trio veering off on a avant tangent, announcing a fascinatingly forward-leaning approach to the jazz trio.
Between the two Canniere tunes you'll find a couple of Bud Powell gems, "Oblivion" and "So Sorry Please," both stretched out nearly to the limits while still holding on, but just barely, to Powell's now-familiar lines. These are highlights, leaving the listener wanting more Powell interpretations. But a Koenigsberg original, a Bill Evans cover ("Show Type Tune"), and a couple of trio-penned tunes don't disappoint.
On Powell's "Oblivion" the trio goes into a jerky, manic mode. On "So Sorry Please," Koenigsberg and drummer Jason Palmer stutter and argue in a contentious conversation before bassist Tyler Abbott walks in strong and steady, mollifiying, lending the tune forward momentum. Marvelous! But then they argue again, and in walks Abbott again...
This fresh approach to the piano trio doesn't neatly fit any category. It walks a line between mainstream and free jazz nicely, with a lot of sharp edges and jagged angles stabbing around the familiar ground.
Track Listing: Thirteen Species; Oblivion; Stellaaaaaaa! (one); My Foolish Heart; So Sorry Please; Varian
Strain; Stellaaaaaa! (two); Show Type Tune; Realizing.
Personnel: Toby Koenigsberg: piano; Tyler Abbott: bass; Jason Palmer: drums.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach. I fell in love with it. I wondered around until the owner (Pedro Soto) asked if I needed help. He then introduced me to John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan and the rest is history. I walked out of the store with my first jazz recording: Clifford Brown and Max Roach at Basin Street.