Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rick Stone Trio and Their CD "Fractals": Guitar Trio Subtleties

New York's Rick Stone turns down the treble and plays a mellow, highly noteful approach to mainstream changes jazz that is best termed a kind of "modern throwback." It's rooted in the '50s-early '60s guitar masters but it has a modern slant to it. Standards and originals fill his hour-long set, Fractals (Jazzland 005), and they fill it with real artistry. His trio has the cool burn going for it. Bassist Marco Panascia and drummer Tom Pollard have all the chops they need and harness it to the changes and the constant swing. Both solo in appropriate ways.

But it is Rick Stone's determined, gracefully executed chord-line prowess that is the order of the day. He's mastered the bop idiom and can built an outness on it when he wishes--like on "Nacho Mama's Blues," whose head and solo spot take the harmonic edges of bop blues and say something coherent and hip.

This is no trip through bop nostalgia. It is a cohesive creative statement on the tradition by a very accomplished guitarist and his very simpatico trio. Well done!

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