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Primary Colours: Past Present Future

Pianist Gerard D’Angelo, bassist Frank Wagner, and drummer Dave Meade have been polishing their chops together since 1988, when they began working as a trio in the Rainbow Room in New York City. On their debut recording for the Jazzheads label, a 10-tune studio session, they demonstrate their straightahead artistry, tight unity, and ingenuity as soloists, most noticebly on their group and individual restructurings of Gillespie’s “Con Alma,” Mongo Santamaria’s “Afro Blue,” and Dr. Billy Taylor’s “One for the Woofer.” Their conversance leads to diverse renderings such as Wagner’s waltz, “Madaleine,” which radiates stellar musicianship as the players shift time signatures on Meade’s prodding, and a sturdy, racing bop interpretation of the Duke Pearson tune, “Jeannine,” which highlights each player navigating the quickened tempo with ease. With all its multifariousness expressions and enlightened playing, Primary Colours is the kind of piano trio you long to hear.

Originally Published