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JazzTimes 10: All-Time Great Piano Trio Albums

The power of three is on full display in these groups

Carla Bley: Trios (ECM, 2013)
All right, you got us, this is a bit of a cheat format-wise: piano/bass/sax rather than piano/bass/drums. But Bley’s trio with saxophonist Andy Sheppard and bassist Steve Swallow deserves the space. These three musicians have been collaborators for decades, and it shows in the ease with which they pass ideas back and forth. On this album—which cherry-picks tunes from throughout Bley’s 50+-year career—they take the art of the trio to a peak of sophistication and refinement. If ever an album deserved to be called chamber jazz, it’s this one.

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Originally Published
Mac Randall

Mac Randall

Mac Randall has been the editor of JazzTimes since May 2018. Prior to that, he wrote regularly for the magazine. He has written about numerous genres of music for a wide variety of publications over the past 30 years, including Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New York Observer, Mojo, and Guitar Aficionado, and he has worked on the editorial staffs of Musician, LAUNCH (now Yahoo! Music), Guitar One, Teaching Music, Music Alive!, and In Tune Monthly. He is the author of two books, Exit Music: The Radiohead Story and 101 Great Playlists. He lives in New York City.