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Ron Brendle Trio: Photograph

While the instrumentation is that of the prototypical bass-piano-drums trio, there’s nothing remotely routine about the Ron Brendle Trio’s music. The musicians blur idioms and converge styles. Every track represents a first-take version, and the compositions have a loose, spontaneous sound. A highlight is their superb cover of Ornette Coleman’s “Broken Shadows” (hardly an overdone number).

Brendle is a monster bassist, whether using the bow or playing with his fingers. Pianist Frank Kimbrough darts, dips and explodes, and drummer Al Sergel always connects his rhythms to the passages being articulated by Brendle and Kimbrough. While the trio can take things far out, get complex or build a solid groove, the common theme is that the Ron Brendle Trio consistently offers outstanding, unpredictable music.

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