Brian Swartz

Three

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Inspired by a series of '70s sessions that Chet Baker made for Steeplechase with only guitar and bass accompaniment, trumpeter Brian Swartz chose similar instrumentation for Three with guitarist Larry Koonse and bassist Darek Oles joining him. Because of the rhythm section's ability to provide strong support, the lack of drums or piano is no big deal. While Swartz has yet to develop a distinctive personal style that can be recognized as quickly as Baker's, he is no slouch on his instrument, with superior technique and the ability to improvise creatively in wide range of settings. The nimble playing of all three musicians is best heard during the brisk setting of the standard "My Shining Hour," with Koonse and Oles engaging in a lively duet following the leader's bright solo. Swartz wears his emotions on his sleeve with his heartfelt treatment of the lovely ballad "Emily," almost seeming to emulate Baker's fragile tone in its introduction. Swartz also wrote several strong originals for the date, including the somewhat dark samba "Father to Many." All in all, this is a very rewarding trio session.

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