3 Kinds of Piano Trios
I’ve written about a lot of piano trio album already, as this is one of my favorite genres, from Shai Maestro, to Helge Lien, to the obvious Keith Jarrett (here and here). By the way, if you’re interested in reading all my posts about a particular genre like the piano trio, just click on the category link in the sidebar (or here). I spent a lot of effort categorizing and tagging my posts as I want you to be able to find stuff easily. Otherwise there is always the free text search.
I personally mentally categorize the Jazz piano trio into three classes:
- Focusing on the melody
These move a bit away from the traditional Jazz, and have a strong focus on the melody and harmonic development. Typical examples for me are Triosence, Edgar Knecht, or the Tingvall trio. As you can see from my previous reviews, I really like this category, as I am a sucker for melodies.
Going beyond traditional harmonies and rhythmic structures, these groups tend to be more exploratory, recent examples include Vijay Iyer or Giovanni Guidi. Often, these aren’t really my cup of tea. That’s why you won’t be reading a lot about them here, in spite of the fact that I admire their artistic creativity.
3. It Don’t Mean A Thing if It AInt’ Got that Swing
Typical examples are Oscar Peterson and Ray Brown, where a certain Swing is always present.
I very much like this form of piano Jazz, nothing better to cheer you up if you are in a bad mood.
Obviously, these classifications are never clear-cut, but they help me mentally organize my music collection.
Christian McBride Live At The Village Vanguard
i was pointed to this album by forum contributor JoeWhip (see here).
For whatever reason McBride, a bassist close to the great Ray Brown, kind of flew under the radar for me, probably he was more active as a sideman than a leader, what a miss!
I’m glad I finally rediscovered him. He plays here with Ulysses Owens Jr on drums and Christian Sands on piano.
This album is a typical example where I just can’t sit still. Whenever I’m in a Jazz concert I’m always surprised that there are so many people in the audience that sit completely still. That’s ok for me maybe during a ballad.
But on any uptempo song I just need to somehow move with the music, whether it is my foot, hand, or whatever. I may look a bit silly, but it is completely impossible for me not to go with the music. And this is how the third category of trio jazz I mentioned above should be!
This is excellent live Jazz, nothing else but pure enjoyment. And the extra energy of the mythical Vanguard that I always visit when my travels get me to NYC probably helps.
After Aaron Diehl and Cécile McLorin Salvant, Mack Avenue has another winner here!
My rating: 4 stars