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Richard Wyands Trio: The Arrival

Wyands is new to me, and I can’t deduce anything biographical from the Japanese notes, but he is a fine pianist with an attractive, crisp touch, a post-Powell, pre-Lydian harmonic feel and a convincing improvisatory style. The excellent program includes such unfamiliar standards as Arlen’s “Sleeping Bee” and Rodgers’ “Sweetest Sounds,” Horace Parlan’s “The Arrival,” and Duke’s “Warm Valley.” The one original is an attractive blues line. Wyands is one of those often-overlooked musicians who is not concerned with blazing trails but is effortlessly creative within his chosen boundaries. When he uses devices associated with other pianists he does it his own way. His trio-mates, Lisle Atkinson and Leroy Williams, are models of unobtrusive support, following every move without calling attention to themselves.

Wyands is his own man, but I would suggest that anyone who likes Tommy Flanagan will enjoy this thoughtful, swinging musician-and I mean that as high praise.

Originally Published