Stevens, Siegel & Ferguson

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The musicians that comprise this long-running group (pianist Michael Jefry Stevens, bassist Tim Ferguson and drummer Jeff Siegel) all have quite a bit of experience playing more advanced music than is usually found in the typical piano trio. Although the setting and the repertoire (which mixes swinging originals with standards) is more conservative than expected, it seems clear that these players are bent on moving the modern mainstream of jazz into the future. One can forgive the trio starting the date with the overplayed "On Green Dolphin Street" because they also stretch out on "A Bicycle Built For Two," Ornette Coleman's memorable "The Blessing" (one of his finest tunes), John Coltrane's rarely performed hymn "After The Rain" (which has some fairly free percussive piano) and a Latinized "Angel Eyes." Among the diverse originals are the modern tango "Astor's Place" and the tongue-in-cheek "Almost A Rhythm Tune." This is an intriguing set that grows in interest with each listen.

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