The influence of Lennie Tristano is everywhere, from the songs (one by Tristano and at least a few by his disciples) to the concepts and the sound. This recording captures the trio live in its first concert -- ever. While the players had performed together before, this was the first time they did so without the support of a guitar or piano. The impressive results speak for themselves, as Jimmy Halperin's lithe and smooth sax glides effortlessly over Bill Chattin's strict timekeeping and Don Messina's metronome-like bass. There are no concessions to commercialism, as these fellows pursue an authentic style feel that embodies the notion of "cool." Halperin's airy tenor has a 1950s air, a sense of holding back, an unemotional quality that is eerily attractive. The saxophonist has recorded with Wayne Marsh, among others, and his colleagues have previously been part of some excellent and important albums with pianist Larry Bluth. So, in a sense, although this trio configuration may be new, these experienced performers are not new to the music, and it shows. The best display of their talents may be on the fast-paced "Sweet Georgia Brown," where Halperin transforms the piece into his own vehicle for creativity, with thinly disguised lines that wrap the melody in shadowy colors. The trio's version of Tristano's "317 East 32nd Street" would have made the master proud; Halperin navigates the changes with cleverly dispassionate discipline.
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