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06/15/13

Joey Calderazzo Trio
Joey Calderazzo Trio Live
Sunnyside

This new document of live-action jazz did not originate at the Village Vanguard, or anywhere near New York City for that matter. Joey Calderazzo’s trio is heard stretching out at Daly Jazz in the relatively remote locale of Missoula, Mont. If this set offers any indication, the venue is just as inspiring a room as some of its big-city counterparts. Pianist Calderazzo, also a member of Branford Marsalis’ quartet, takes his time on these six tracks, stretching out for an average of 10 minutes per tune. Bassist Orlando le Fleming and drummer Donald Edwards fill out the group and give their leader a foundation that is alternately steady or reactive; they often punctuate solos with a gallop that pumps up the energy leading into the next chorus.

“To Be Confirmed” begins with a funky groove based on a New Orleans second-line feel, but rather than simply sticking to a crowd-pleasing romp, the trio shifts into a walking 4/4 tempo that inspires the pianist to create several choruses that flow seamlessly into one another. Calderazzo spends a fair amount of time exploring his lyrical side with Keith Jarrett’s “Rainbow,” Bill Evans’ “Time Remembered” and Bobby Troup’s “The Meaning of the Blues.” But the highlight of the album is the 17-minute reading of Paul Motian’s “Trieste.” Beginning with a gentle 5/4 riff, it turns into a wave of chords that Le Fleming and Edwards build into cascades of sound. The performance comes off as both a unique interpretation and a musical profile of the composer.

Originally published in June 2013
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