Upper Left Trio

Sell Your Soul Side

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The sophomore release from Portland's Upper Left Trio provides more of what the debut album, Cycling, gave listeners: a well-planned piano trio outing. On Sell Your Soul Side, there are the same hints of the classic masters inherent in the compositions -- not quite enough Bill Evans or Keith Jarrett to make a reference perfectly obvious, but enough to enrich the music greatly. In the hands of pianist Clay Giberson, there's plenty of original ability anyway. The music uses idioms from the realm of pop and soul somewhat more this time around, but not to the point of leaving the jazz realm. There are progressive beats worked in from time to time, and chord progressions reminiscent of jazz-pop fusion, but always in service of the larger composition. This is perfect ambient jazz, straight from a smoky club, with accomplished musicians. They've worked together long enough to fit their pieces together seamlessly, but they aren't big enough on their own egos to steal a scene with an abrupt solo. In a word, excellent.

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