Matt Slocum: After the Storm

As a followup to his outstanding debut as a leader, Portraits, drummer-composer Matt Slocum settles into a rare telepathy with pianist Gerald Clayton and bassist Massimo Biolcati on this enchanting trio outing. A tastefully polyrhythmic drummer with a penchant for melodicism on the kit (as he demonstrates with mallets on the pensive opener “Jacaranda”), Slocum establishes an intimate, interactive vibe with his mates on these nine tracks. They swing blithely through “The Catalyst,” then turn in walking-on-eggshells renditions of “It’s Easy to Remember” and the elegant title track. “Passaic” is a loose three-way conversation, while their politely swinging take on Cole Porter’s “Everything I Love” is strictly old-school. Other highlights include a brilliant arrangement of Maurice Ravel’s “La Vallee des Cloches” and Slocum’s urgently burning closer, “Pete’s Place.”