Looking back at CDs I’ve listened to recently for review on London Jazz News, I notice that trios have been figuring of late. I mentioned Michelson Morley in a previous post and review here, since then the three I’ve reviewed have all been trios. Maybe the reason I hadn’t particularly noticed was because they are all so different. Tenor player Melissa Aldana‘s Crash Trio (review here) and pianist Andrew McCormack‘s First Light (review here) were both recorded in New York and are both firmly rooted stylistically in that city’s rich, still evolving sound. Both leaders have migrated there, McCormack from these shores and Aldana from Chile. They are great albums of mainly originals and sound so different. Aldana is a still recent Berklee graduate but has somehow absorbed and made her own the influence of all the great tenor masters she’s listened to and studied with (Lovano and Rollins loom large). Andrew McCormack’s lovely touch and fluent melodic playing are always a delight and his writing shines here too, an ear for melody threaded through plenty of driving swing. Two top class trio albums.
My third trio, Busnoys‘ Weaving the Spell is a different proposition (review here) but no less beguiling. Led by vibes player Martin Pyne, the references and inspirations are broader and quirkier. Its a little gem of an album packed with melody, surprises and adventurous collective improvisation. This album illustrates how much can be suggested and evoked by not playing and sometimes, just two well chosen sounds. Its an approach shared by Michelson Morley (my plus one of course). Both these albums were recorded in Bristol at Jim Barr‘s JnJ studios. Co- incidence? Maybe, but two treats for your ears nevertheless.