Gerard Masters Trio
(Jazzgroove/Creative Vibes)

Rating: ***1/2

This third album from Sydney-based pianist Gerard Masters’s trio is his first with drummer Evan Mannell and the second one using sub-structuralist extraordinaire Cameron Undy on bass.

Four of the tracks are Masters originals with Stockton Shuffle the most blues oriented, driven along by heavily emphatic drumming. A quite different mood is generated on another Masters original Pendulum, with a neo-classical bass intro leading to a medium tempo piece where the piano is embellished by splashing cymbals in consecutive tension-building passages.

Neil Finn’s pop song Message to my Girl is sympathetically interpreted in an Ahmad Jamal style with Mannell’s distinctive brushwork and Masters’s mobile block chords. The Changeling by
Masters is a post bop theme handled well by a high energy piano pushing solo phrases into quadruple time with stabbing chords and adds an ignited drum solo. While not breaking revolutionary new ground this album is an exciting and varied collection of talented performances.


This review first appeared in The Weekend Australian is republished with permission.

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