Wednesday, December 28, 2011
TRP (The Reese Project), "Evening in Vermont"
Some music can be straight-ahead without being typical in any predictable sense. Such is the music of TRP (The Reese Project), here in their 9th CD, Evening in Vermont (Rhombus 7016). First off, the group's time together shows in the very flexible but tight ensemble feel. Everything swings with a plasticity that comes about only after mutually rewarding exploratory music-making. Second, the somewhat exotic instrumentation of Tom Reese on flutes, Laurie Haines Reese, cello, Kirk Reese, piano, Dave Young on drums, and guest Tish Haines Brown on violin and viola, gives the group a unique chamber jazz texture, slightly reminiscent of Chico Hamilton's groups of the '50s, but nevertheless singular in its development of that sound.
The band visits some traditional folk and popular melodies newly arranged, some originals of merit by Tom, and a couple of well chosen songbook and jazz classics.
The emphasis is on solid flutework and some nice piano soloing, coupled with the cello walking bass lines, a swinging rhythm section and adept string work.
TRP comes up with some winning music here. It might not be setting the pace for the new century, but it is a very pleasant excursion indeed, by some very accomplished musicians.