String Trio of New York

Blues...?

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The String Trio of New York, which since 1991 has consisted of violinist Regina Carter, guitarist James Emery and bassist John Lindberg (the latter two were founding members in 1979), is often classified as an avant-garde group due to its unusual instrumentation and chancetaking improvisations. However this Black Saint release is among their most accessible. Although not all of the nine performances are blues (Duke Ellington's obscure "I'm Afraid" is a ballad and calling "Hurry Up and Wait" a reggae blues is stretching the point a bit), all of the selections are given blues feeling. In addition to five diverse originals (including an eccentric country blues "Bellyachin' Blues"), the group performs the Ellington piece (which was apparently never recorded by Duke), Lee Morgan's "Speedball," a mournful version of "Freddie Freeloader" and a six-song Charlie Parker blues suite which purposely slows down and speeds up in spots to jarring effect. With the exception of the latter (which ends inconclusively), this is a successful effort, well worth seeking out by adventurous listeners.

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