Larry Bluth, Don Messina and Bill Chattin perpetually perform the two most vital functions of true jazz musicians: they improvise and they listen. While generally basing their improvisations on standards, the players derive their freedom through their penetrating harmonic explorations and their elastic phrasing.
It is both important and appropriate that, on their first commercially available recording, this Trio sounds exactly like they are playing at home. They sound relaxed, like they were really enjoying themselves on these two afternoons in the Winter of 1991/1992 at Orfeo, a music club in Manhattan's East Village. Fortunately for us, these two very special afternoons were captured on tape.
As a jazz recording engineer, I feel that the style of the recording itself is worth mentioning. This is a live stereo recording made by placing two microphones in front of the band and plugging them directly into the tape recorder. This type of recording is not common anymore, and it is the uncommon dynamic sensitivity of the group which makes it possible here. What you hear is the natural balance of these three musicians in this room on these days. It is inspiring to hear the delicate strokes of Bill Chattin and the big acoustic sound of Don Messina naturally balancing themselves with the mosaic quality of Larry Bluth's grand piano.
Repeated listening to the music contained on this CD makes for constant discovery on the part of the listener. The adjective "predictable" could never be used to describe these players. The music remains both fresh and refreshing. That a label such as Zinnia has released a CD of highly original jazz by relatively unknown players is a healthy sign. That this Trio has found itself on a label that has just released two volumes of recordings of Sal Mosca and Warne Marsh live from the Village Vanguard is no accident. I would hope that in the future there will be other groups carrying on this same jazz tradition.
James Farber, 1992
Recorded on November 19, 1991 and January 17, 1992
at Orfeo, New York City.
Recording/Mastering: DON MESSINA
Producer's Note: Due to the nature of a live recording, a minimal amount of background noise may be present.