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UPC - 031397400029
Theo Saunders Trio - Three For All

Release Date - May, 1996
$14.98

The Kicker - 3.32
In A Sentimonkal Mood - 4.17
When You Wish Upon A Star - 4.58
Nardis - 5.02
Wish From The Heart - 5.51
Cry Me A River - 6.32
Come Rain Or Come Shine - 4.16
Waiting For You - 4.42
Ellie'S Night Out - 3.11
If I Should Lose You - 7.06
Misterioso - 3.35

Three For All is only Theo Saunders’ third album, and a long overdue statement from a pianist who manages to span a great deal of jazz history–literally and by influence–without ever sounding eclectic-for-its-own-sake. As the title rightfully suggests, the subject here is the noble tradition of piano trio music. It’s all about the fluency of music between three sympathetic players, and also areas of the piano trio world never before traveled. Saunders is joined here by bassist Chris Symer and drummer Michael Stephans. It was in Santa Barbara in 1985, where he began to develop the ideas and identity of this trio. It was quickly apparent that this group was not just a workaday unit, but rather a laboratory for revised notions of what the format can yield. Three For All opens, aptly, with Joe Henderson’s “The Kicker,” a fine place to start, and a fiery showcase for what happens in this group, from tight structural turns in the arrangement to the free-ranging energy of the outgoing (operative word: outgoing) vamp. In Saunders’ hands, standards can become putty for invention, without losing the dignity of the original material. On “Come Rain or Come Shine,” the expected relaxed balladry often lavished on the tune is replaced by a propulsive sense of swing, and a modal harmonic attitude. As harmonically venturesome as Saunders can be, he also has a lyrical sensitivity to draw on, as heard on “When You Wish Upon a Star,” and the sad, lustrous “Cry Me a River.” Symer’s supple bass introduction leads the trio into the melancholy-yet-hopeful emotional spaces of “If I Should Lose You,” and the bassist–supportive and also bold, when and where it counts–provides an elegant solo. In short, Saunders’ trio is a threesome with a mission to maintain a lively dialogue, to dodge clichés while embracing timeless values, to speak the language of jazz with honesty and energy. Of course, at the heart of it is Saunders’ own generous voice, one that encompasses both a wealth of experience and a hunger for forward motion. ### Three For All is only Theo Saunders’ third album, and a long overdue statement from a pianist who manages to span a great deal of jazz history–literally and by influence–without ever sounding eclectic-for-its-own-sake. As the title rightfully suggests, the subject here is the noble tradition of piano trio music. It’s all about the fluency of music between three sympathetic players, and also areas of the piano trio world never before traveled. Saunders is joined here by bassist Chris Symer and drummer Michael Stephans. It was in Santa Barbara in 1985, where he began to develop the ideas and identity of this trio. It was quickly apparent that this group was not just a workaday unit, but rather a laboratory for revised notions of what the format can yield. Three For All opens, aptly, with Joe Henderson’s “The Kicker,” a fine place to start, and a fiery showcase for what happens in this group, from tight structural turns in the arrangement to the free-ranging energy of the outgoing (operative word: outgoing) vamp. In Saunders’ hands, standards can become putty for invention, without losing the dignity of the original material. On “Come Rain or Come Shine,” the expected relaxed balladry often lavished on the tune is replaced by a propulsive sense of swing, and a modal harmonic attitude. As harmonically venturesome as Saunders can be, he also has a lyrical sensitivity to draw on, as heard on “When You Wish Upon a Star,” and the sad, lustrous “Cry Me a River.” Symer’s supple bass introduction leads the trio into the melancholy-yet-hopeful emotional spaces of “If I Should Lose You,” and the bassist–supportive and also bold, when and where it counts–provides an elegant solo. In short, Saunders’ trio is a threesome with a mission to maintain a lively dialogue, to dodge clichés while embracing timeless values, to speak the language of jazz with honesty and energy. Of course, at the heart of it is Saunders’ own generous voice, one that encompasses both a wealth of experience and a hunger for forward motion. ###


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