Chicago Trio New York Tenor is actually the first personal project by Jerry Steinhilber, and it certainly blows a nice, fresh breeze over the field of post-bop. The idea was to pit his regular trio against his mentor at the Berklee School of Music, saxophonist George Garzone, who is equally featured on soprano and tenor saxophones. Steinhilber found in bassist Larry Kohut and pianist Jim Trompeter two remarkably sympathetic cohorts with whom he has developed a special cohesiveness. The program is comprised of original compositions penned by either Steinhilber or Garzone, and complemented by one standard. The session is generally reminiscent of the classic '60s hard bop Blue Note era and some songs are so memorable that they will immediately sound familiar. The beautifully crafted tone poem "For All Children" reflects the drummer's admiration for John Coltrane as well as his qualities as a colorist, for Steinhilber is a powerful but disciplined drummer who neither drowns the rest of the band nor indulges in pointless solos. His playing is characterized by a careful and skillful use of dynamics ("The Mingus That I Knew"). Trompeter and Garzone are two musicians who have wonderful melodic and harmonic ideas and complement each other ideally, as "Blue Note Maki" bears witness. As for Kohut, his input goes far beyond time-keeping. Jerry Steinhilber is a drummer who deserves wider recognition and this highly spirited set serves as a perfect introduction.
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AllMusic Review by Alain Drouot