Bassist Tim Ferguson's Inside/Out is a trio with the somewhat unusual instrumentation of Tim on acoustic bass plus Rob Henke on trumpet and alto horn and Diane Moser on piano. It is no exaggeration to state that each player carves out a vital, indispensable space in the trio setting that makes this music special.
With no drummer present they are free to go into some very rubato feels or swing along according to the piece at hand. And they do. Tim can walk very nicely and very audibly given the setting, or become a third horn, so to speak. His inventiveness is key, but no less than Henke and Moser. They all are schooled in contemporary jazz and take on their experience with the vocabulary to whatever realms they choose to occupy. So there is postbop swinging, freedom and expressive balladings on originals and a few jazz standards.
Bass enthusiasts will certainly appreciate what Tim is doing. Rob and Diane have much to say too, and all manage to do it with their own take on what jazz is today.
It's the sort of album that has a classic quality that one never grows tired of. My fifth hearing right now is as fresh sounding to me as the first. And there is just a hint of middle-period Miles in Rob that sounds very good in this sort of trio.