Canadian jazz musicians like pianist/composer Steve Amirault are usually off the radar screen of most jazz critics, broadcasters, and fans, simply because their music isn't widely distributed outside their native land. But that hardly means the music is not worth exploring, as proven on these trio sessions recorded for Effendi. Joined by bassist Fraser Hollins and drummer Dave Laing, Amirault shares nine original works in what seems to be his debut recording, but with no liner notes or a publicity sheet, it is hard to tell for sure. The opener, "Surrendering," mixes a melancholy theme with a touch of whimsy, while "Child Like" suggests the playfulness of youth, adding an intricate bassline beneath Amirault's intriguing solo. The moody but lovely bittersweet ballad "Since You Have Gone" deserves to have lyrics. "Three Wishes for Genie" suggest a rural setting, highlighted by conversational exchanges between the pianist and the bassist. "Rendezvous Point" is the kind of piece that might turn up on a date by any graduate of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, with a groove that would inspire any audience. The gut-wrenching ballad "As I Watched You Leave" is wholly effective without lyrics. Steve Amirault's well-crafted compositions and the trio's interpretation of them make this a CD well worth acquiring.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden