Art Lande is best known his work as a post-bop pianist along the lines of Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, and Ahmad Jamal, but he's also a skillful drummer -- and the early 2000s found him playing the drums in two very different groups. One was the Boy-Girl Band, an avant-garde quartet with a strong AACM influence -- in other words, outside playing that is reflective and spacy rather than confrontational -- and the other was the acoustic post-bop trio Triangle, which employs Erik Deutsch on piano and Douglas Anderson on bass. The interesting thing about 3 Sides of a Question is that even though Lande is on drums instead of piano, this Triangle disc isn't unlike albums Lande has recorded as a pianist. In fact, Deutsch's pianism isn't radically different from Lande's; although Deutsch was born in 1976 and is young enough to be Lande's son, they have a lot of common ground when it comes to the acoustic piano. Deutsch obviously shares Lande's enthusiasm for clean-sounding pianists like Evans, Corea, Jarrett, and Jamal, and he brings that graceful sort of lyricism to material ranging from two Lande pieces ("A Crimson Scare" and "Pasamatania") to the standard "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning." Another interesting thing about this 2003 session is the fact that Lande's drumming is a lot like his pianism -- swinging yet subtle, confident yet unpretentious. As a drummer, Lande brings to mind the more restrained players such as Shelly Manne and Joe Chambers -- and being a pianist himself, Lande is smart enough to let Deutsch do his thing instead of getting in his way. On this memorable CD, Lande makes a valuable contribution to a cohesive piano trio -- and he does it without playing any piano.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson