Saturday, July 2, 2011

Storms/Nocturnes Trio: Via

Origin Arts
By Ric Bang
Buy CD: Via

Storms/Nocturnes is an outstanding trio, composed of Geoffrey Keezer (piano), Joe Locke (vibraphone) and Tim Garland (tenor and soprano sax, and bass clarinet). All three began their professional careers playing straight-ahead jazz; as time has passed, they’ve graduated into the “chamber jazz” genre.

Via, their third release, offers music that is innovative and much more complex than what can be found on most jazz albums, but it’s beautifully done and guaranteed to leave you wanting more. Each musicians contributed three original compositions to this album.

Keezer, the youngest of the trio, began playing piano before he entered kindergarten and, after his first year at the Berklee College of Music, he became part of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He has recorded with numerous groups as a sideman and leader, and was nominated for Grammy Awards in 2009 and ’10. Locke is equally proficient; he has released more than two dozen albums as a leader and contributed to more than 100 as a sideman. The British-born Garland is one of few reed players also proficient on the bass clarinet (used extensively on this album. He’s a 2009 Grammy winner and frequent collaborator with Chick Corea.

The compositions here relate to locations that are special to each musician. Keezer’s inspirations are his backyard garden, created by his wife; a lane in Missoula, Montana; and a tropical ocean. Locke is enthralled by a retreat in Vermont, a stroll in Central Park during an early winter snowfall, and a music venue in Half Moon Bay. Garland is impressed by a Tuscan farmhouse and a couple of locations in England’s Lake District.

All three musicians interact exceptionally. Jazz can be beautiful!

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