Three as One consist of three veteran jazz musicians (all of whom have extensive jazz education credentials as well): pianist Stefan Karlsson, bassist Lou Fischer, and drummer Steve Houghton. Their set list includes both superb originals and reharmonizations of several familiar classical works. Karlsson penned two songs, including the lyrical ballad "Smiling Eyes" and the upbeat "Trikings." Fischer contributed the infectious bop vehicle "Three as One" (seemingly a reworking of Thad Jones' "Three and One") and the delicate ballad "Christine, My Angel Apparent," the latter showcasing his warm arco bass. Jazz musicians have frequently explored classical repertoire as a launching pad for improvisations, and Three as One are superb interpreters in a jazz setting. Fischer's dramatic reworking of the first movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 delays its famous theme nearly until the conclusion. Karlsson's subtle approach to Chopin's Prelude in E Minor is no less surprising, though tied in closer to its roots. Throughout the date, the trio comes across as of one mind, as if it is a year-round working band. This CD is a perfect way to introduce classical fans to jazz, as well as jazz fans who somehow never got around to exploring classical music.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden