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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, Ian Lace, Peter Woolf, Colin Clarke

Jurgen Friedrich piano
John Hebert bass
Tony Moreno drums
recorded 5/5/99 Hanover Germany
NAXOS JAZZ 86060-2

£4.65  AmazonUS $5.97

1. Surfacing
2. Poeme
3. Azure
4. Shadows
5. Nothing Is As It Seems
6. Hydra
7. The Truth Is Out
8. Monchichi
9. Zugabi

This disc, featuring a trio led by German pianist Jurgen Friedrich is a true group performance. The emphasis on trio at the start of the title serves to prepare the listener for the strong sense of ensemble shown in this series of original compositions [apart from the semi-obscure piece of Ellingtonia, Azure]

Throughout the album there is a sense of the dramatic - climaxes, shifting rhythms, tempos and  changes of meter.

The trio slip easily from straight eights to swing in several numbers and there is obviously strong interaction between the performers - with the lead voice often shifting around the trio. This is not piano accompanied by bass and drums- there is a feeling of the Bill Evans Trio in the sense of the cerebral nature of some of the selections, which often move from a single line development to crashing chords in the style of McCoy Tyner.

This is the debut recording of the trio - it seems almost impossible that they have achieved such empathy and finesse without years of exposure.

I greatly enjoyed this disc and would strongly recommend it to anyone who has a liking for the piano trio in jazz.

Dick Stafford

D.S. is a professional reed player and teacher living in Coventry.

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