Monday, July 22, 2013

Adams' Trios Two a Second Helping of Delight Pie

John Adams is not only an extraordinary bassist, making each tune he plays fuller and heavenly, but he is also a terrific bandleader. This release is the second he has produced featuring some of the trios he has played with in the past few years. Trios is one of my favorites among his recordings, but this project surpasses even that disc.

The first six tracks feature the piano, with Lee Tomboulian and JT Thomas on keyboard and drums for the opener "Love For Sale," and Brian Piper (piano) and Mike Drake (drums) on the next five tunes. I've been fans of Piper and Drake for some time, and they surely don't disappoint here. I strongly recommend getting the digital version of Trios Two because it contains sterling renditions of "Norwegian Wood" and "The Lady Is A Tramp" which cannot be found on the CD.

Mike Drake also plays on the next three tracks, which present Jason Bucklin on guitar. All three tunes are delicious, but my favorite slice of delight pie is the transcendent "Alice In Wonderland."

The late (and very missed) sax giant, Marchel Ivery, closes this set with Ed Soph taking the drum chair on "Bye Bye Blackbird" and "Giant Steps." Ivory rides these tunes like the mad conductor of a runaway train. I'd ride anywhere with these three.

Trios Two is not just a "standards" album. These tunes may never get old, particularly for jazz fans, but John Adams and his crews keep these songs -- and the heart of this reviewer -- very young.

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