Art of Three

Live in Japan 2003, Vol. 2

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The Art of Three were a trio of all-stars (drummer Billy Cobham, pianist Kenny Barron, and bassist Ron Carter) assembled for a 2003 tour of Japan, with two recordings made on consecutive nights at the Hyatt Regency Osaka in Japan. This second volume primarily focuses on familiar standards and landmark jazz compositions, with all three musicians soloing with their typical strength and engaging in lively ensemble work as well. A powerful interpretation of Thelonious Monk's "I Mean You" is a fitting introduction to the second night's concert, with each man sharing the spotlight equally. Carter's delicate "New Waltz" is a subtle masterpiece, while Barron's "And Then Again" is a playful bluesy calypso. Wrapping the evening is a dramatic take of "'Round Midnight." While the music is enjoyable, the engineering is a tad frustrating in spots, with the bass being so bright in the mix that it creates a bit of distortion.

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