The Trio was an ongoing group of all-stars that began during the 1970s with pianist Hank Jones, bassist Milt Hinton, and drummer Grady Tate, though it was intended to be a meeting of equals rather than led by one musician. By the time of this 1994 session, Derek Smith had taken over the piano chair and Bobby Rosengarden the drums to accompany Hinton. Producer Hank O'Neal had attempted to record the Trio live during two different jazz cruises, though technical problems prevented the issuing of any of the performances. The third time was the charmed one, as they utilized Rudy Van Gelder's studio instead. The musicians cover a wide range of material, from a bossa nova medley to standards from the 1930s and 1940s and more recent jazz compositions like the breezy "Bluesette" and a strutting "Shiny Stockings." One can almost see the players smiling at one another during each take. The bonus "Jazzspeak" features the three musicians reminiscing with one another in the studio, while Smith overdubbed an improvised blues in the background. Since this is one of Milt Hinton's final recordings before he retired from playing in his mid-eighties, it should be of great interest to the late bassist's fans.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden