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Christian Jacob Trio: Time Lines

Great trio chemistry takes time to evolve, but it almost always involves three distinctive musical personalities. Whether pianist Christian Jacob has himself a great trio remains to be seen, but the personalities he brings together here meet the criteria. From the first notes of Jacob’s rolling arrangement of Ellington’s “In a Mellow Tone,” Jacob and company seize our attention-which is not all that surprising, in light of the company Jacob is keeping: Adam Nussbaum on drums and the superb Steve Swallow on electric bass. These players offer Jacob the kind of dialogue that carries him to some very inventive places, though it is clear from his arrangements that he is imaginative on his own. Jacob’s influences would appear to include Chick Corea and, to my ears, Stanley Cowell. The session was produced by Maynard Ferguson, Jacob’s former employer, whose blurb on the record cover may seem gratuitous, but Jacob’s performance certainly deserves his praise.

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