String Trio of New York

Gut Reaction

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One of the longest running ensembles in modern jazz, the String Trio of New York has been in the biz for over 25 years. This release marks violinist Rob Thomas' first recording with the band. Captured live at New York City's Jazz Standard venue, this production features jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas' multi-part piece dedicated to the late pianist Jaki Byard, titled "In So Many Worlds." Otherwise, acoustic guitarist James Emery and double bassist John Lindberg share the remaining compositional credits. This group just about does it all. The trio swings hard sans a drummer, while also integrating odd tunings and avant free-form dialogues into this undeniably divergent track mix. Best of all, the group's improvisational abilities loom rather large here. Thomas' soaring gestures often complement Emery's ringing harmonics and Lindberg's fat-toned lines. Essentially, the musicians interrogate a variegated musical plane, awash with sudden deviations from the norm, intermixed with chamber-like qualities and cyclical passages. There are some sanguine moments amid the artists' complexly woven soundscapes and suspenseful modes of execution, as the players' synergy and wide-ranging scope of musicality stand as their trademarks. Hence, another superb effort by this time-honored outfit.

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