Clay Giberson


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West Coast pianist Clay Giberson's initial offering from the Origin label vividly recalls the seminal trio of Bill Evans, Scott LaFaro, and Paul Motian by the introspective manner in which it presents the music. Like Evans, Giberson's touch is well modulated, revealing an impressive lyrical demeanor. The nine compositions on the program all come from Giberson's pen. They are delicate, gentle, and, most of all, melodic but still distinctive. Giberson does not run out of ideas before the album is over. This trio of players can be spellbinding as they work their will on each tune. "Have Wings...Will Fly" showcases a strong bond between Giberson and bassist Dave Captein. For more than six minutes they perform as if doing a classical sonata for piano and bass. Captein shows his mastery of the instrument by playing both arco and pizzicato. The complex "Incompatibility" is about as profound as the music gets on this set. As the title implies, there is a tussle between the trio members to push their ideas to the forefront. But everything is resolved in the last few measures as a sense of serenity sets in. The tempo picks up somewhat and the rhythms get a bit more jagged with an earnest rendition of "Treasure." "The Spirit Lingers" brings to the fore the important contributions made by the drums of Chris Lee. On this cut, Lee, with well-timed rim and cymbal reports, emphasizes the statement being made by Giberson. With this initial offering, Giberson shows a great deal of promise, raising expectations that future releases will be equally as captivating.

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