Avery Sharpe Trio: Autumn Moonlight

Most jazz fans are familiar with bassist Sharpe through his long association with McCoy Tyner, but Sharpe has also been making his own records with varied instrumentation for many years and has established a substantial catalog as a leader. Sharpe does not vary the instrumentation here; every tune is performed in the classic piano trio format by Sharpe, pianist Onaje Allan Gumbs and Winard Harper. Sharpe is one of the few bass players who excels on both the double bass and the electric bass, but here he restricts his playing to the double bass, and Gumbs stays with the acoustic piano throughout.

The CD benefits from stylistic consistency and good original compositions that do not tax the listener with over familiarity. Six of the ten songs are Sharpe’s compositions, two are by Gumbs, and Woody Shaw’s under-recorded “Organ Grinder” and a fresh arrangement of James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain” are also presented. The CD cannot be said to break new musical ground, but it presents an excellent bass player well and provides consistently pleasing listening for anyone looking for a fresh piano trio recording. Those unfamiliar with Sharpe’s work will find this to be a good record to introduce Sharpe’s attributes, and those familiar with Sharpe who want to hear more will be pleased by it as well