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Adrian Frey Trio: The Sign

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Adrian Frey attended Zurich and New England Conservatories, studying at the latter with teachers with a modern approach to jazz. One, Jerry Bergonzi , is recognized with a dedication, Blues for Jerry . If this session is any indication, Frey paid very close attention to his teachers as this well formed group leans heavily toward the free jazz end of the jazz genre spectrum. But structure and melody are not thrown out the window. There are some lovely performances here such as "Before the Night Takes It Away". The unity and symbiosis of the group are evident here and throughout this album of well constructed and textured originals, plus a standard. Their oneness of purpose is heard on such tracks as White Light which kicks in with waltz time then seques into a faster tempo urged on by Dominik Burkhalter's drums which support, not override, the piano. But interspersed is a longish, discordant drum solo which seems out of place on what otherwise is a melodic piece of music. The centerpiece, the title tune, is dedicated to Kenny Kirkland, a talented but under recognized pianist who passed away in 1998. Frey's piano and even Burkhalter's drums, take on a round and soothing, almost pastoral tone underscored by Dominique Girod's bowed bass. "JCJSB" are the initials of John Coltrane and Johann Sebastian Bach, melding the impressionism of the former with the baroque of the latter.

This a fine outing for this Swiss contingent, even with the occasional run away drumming. The album cover is rather strange as each member of the trio has assumed a scrunched up crouching position, back to the viewer, looking as if they were about to face the guillotine. I'm sure this is symbolic of something. But what it is escapes me. You can get in touch with Adrian at adrianfrey@dplanet.ch.


Track Listing: The Sign; Duc; Les Sebots; Waltz for the Lonely; Out of Nowhere; Before the Night Takes It Away; White Light; JCJSB; Blues for Jerry; Chill Out

Personnel: Adrian Frey - Piano; Dominik Burkhalter - Drums; Dominique Girod - Bass

Title: The Sign | Year Released: 2001


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