JazzTimes 10: All-Time Great Piano Trio Albums

The power of three is on full display in these groups

Joanne Brackeen: Six Ate (Candid, 1996; originally released in 1975 as Snooze)

By the time she recorded this, her first album as a leader, Brackeen was already 36 years old, a seasoned jazz veteran following stints with Woody Shaw, Art Blakey, Joe Henderson, and others. And she sure picked some heavy friends to play with on her “debut”: bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Billy Hart. Their supportive presence helps to draw out astonishing piano solos on tunes like Miles Davis’ “Circle,” Wayne Shorter’s “Nefertiti,” and the Brackeen original “Snooze.” Although you can occasionally feel the shadow of McCoy Tyner looming over Brackeen’s keyboard (an influence that would fade in later years), her infectious adventurousness and compelling sense of drama are all her own.

Preview, buy or download Six Ate on Amazon!

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.