Just when you thought the piano trio had reached a new level of predictability, Stranahan, Zaleski, and Rosato prove the harmonic possibilities are indeed limitless!
Brent Black / www.bop-n-jazz.com
Live to two track in studio recording...digging it so far.
Stanahan, Zaleski and Rosato are not exactly household names, even in the world of improvisational music. Not since the debut of Brad Mehldau has a piano trio been launched with such an organic yet incredibly unique signature sound. This formidable trio has no particular wheelhouse as they walk that odd metered harmonic tightrope between tradition and modern innovation while still managing a wild accessibility to their presentation. Limitless is the sophomore release from these rising stars and one of the primary reasons that I will never cease reviewing improvisational music. This is a cerebral look at the bare bones artistry and lyrical cohesion that three virtuoso talents can bring to the table to elevate perhaps the most predictable format in improvisational music to an exciting new dynamic.
Metric modulation...sound impressive. To break it down Stranahan, Zaleski, and Rosato break up the tempo while shifting dynamics on the fly and melodic conversations fly back and forth between the musical co-conspirators. Highlights are almost too many to list but include a high octane look at the Thelonious Monk classic from 1954, "Work" along with a haunting beautiful tribute to the late Paul Motian, "Motian Sickness." The ensemble attributes countless live shows along with their long time association having started their musical journey on the left coast before moving to the jazz mecca of the world which is New York City. The stylized approach here is difficult to peg while an amped up Bill Evans springs to mind but the development is strictly Glenn Zaleski. The compositional prowess of Rick Rosato is in full effect with "Rock Song" while the previously mentioned "Motian Sickness" from Stranahan bodes well as a jazz standard simply waiting patiently in the melodic on deck circle.
Criticism? Too short.
This is a superior effort, a stealth recording that could fly under the radar of most critics. Don't miss out! Easily one of the years best!
Tracks: Limitless; Cyclic; Work; Migrations; Forecast; Motian Sickness; Rock Song; Chorale.
Personnel: Colin Stranahan: Drums; Glenn Zaleski: Piano; Rick Rosato: Drums