Puttin' On the Ritz
There's such closeness and affinity among the members of the Lynn Seaton Trio that there's almost no clearly delineated leader operating here. Seaton, pianist Stephen Anderson and drummer Joel Fountain mesh steadily on any and everything they play, whether exploring vintage Tin Pan Alley songs, reworking Ellington, weaving through the gospel/blues fare of Bobby Timmons or moving through Fountain's "Pretending." Anderson can be dazzling or supportive but is mostly content to incorporate his dense, spiraling phrases into the broader spectrum of unison work, complemented by Seaton's disciplined bass and Fountain's controlled rhythmic responses and foundations. So despite the emphasis on collective presentation rather than individual acrobatics, there are still plenty of exciting moments.
Another attribute concerns each musician's ability to inject some surprising statements at the oddest times. Anderson will occasionally weave into his playing some furious lines or octave jumps, while Fountain sometimes accelerates the beat or Seaton adds some prominent bass lines that put a charge into their interpretations of "Nature Boy" or "Londonderry Aire." Granted, there's only so much that can be done to "Puttin' on the Ritz" or "Gone With the Wind," yet the trio finds ways of making even these sound almost as appealing as their renditions of "Mood Indigo" and "Moanin'." The results are consistently pleasing and memorable.