Tale of the Fingers
Justin Time Records
This impeccable Toronto studio session differs from usual piano-trio fare in that Canadian bassist Dave Young fittingly (and tastefully) leads on unamplified bass to deliver a tasty set of 10 standards and originals elegantly performed with lyrical pianist Cedar Walton and meticulous drummer Barry Elmes. Plucking or bowing deftly in any tempo, Young maintains jazz feeling and polished technique while distinguishing each tune with a certain sophisticated flair, taking advantage of veteran Walton's warm melodiousness.
Bolstered from playing with many jazz luminaries, including Oscar Peterson, Young swings with precision and ease. But don't expect to hear a simulation of the Ray Brown trio. Young's unamplified style is more light-handed and less blues-based. He creates maximum-listening pleasure with his trio as they rework romantic chestnuts such as "Just In Time," "Sweet and Lovely," and Kurt Weill's "Lost In the Stars." Their rendition of the Paul Chambers title tune sizzles with boppish energy and lyricism. Young's bittersweet original "The Night Is Long," is given a gospellike, block-chord launch by Walton.
Born in Winnipeg and now settled in Toronto, Young collaborated with postbop guitarist Lenny Breau before studying classical music and joining the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Young draws upon but doesn't let his classical mind dominate this outing that follows his acclaimed 1996 three-CD duo series with jazz pianists.
Because Young has so much to say on his seventh recording as leader, Tale of the Fingers is a comfortable and complete listening treat.