The second in a series of three albums recorded by the Great Jazz Trio at the Village Vanguard in 1977, it features the original lineup of Hank Jones, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams. Jones leads the way with his always elegant boppish arrangements; there are also plenty of solo opportunities for his bandmates in these intimate recordings, which give you the feeling of sitting right in front of the bandstand. It's hard to overlook their extended workouts of two jazz standards, Charlie Parker's "Confirmation" and Miles Davis' "Nardis" (the latter opening with a delightful improvised solo introduction by the leader). "Nardis," in particular, which was all but owned by Bill Evans because of his many recordings of it, sounds rather different in the hands of the Great Jazz Trio, sounding far more subtle and with a slight Latin flavor at times. But the trio also knows how to build the tension playing this modal masterpiece. The beautiful ballad "Wind Flower" deserves wider recognition, particularly this stunning effort, as does Tony Williams' powerful "Lawra." Long out of print, Test of Time finally licensed this recommended concert album for reissue as a CD in 2005.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden