Dave Bass - Trio Nuevo

The latest release from Dave Bass, “Trio Nuevo,” showcases his evolving artistry as a pianist, composer, and arranger. Marking his seventh album as a leader, this album continues his journey in the trio format on which he displays an eclectic range that spans from Bach to bebop. I sense the album will leave an indelible mark in the jazz world.

Dave Bass's journey in the recording industry began in 2010, collaborating with renowned horn players and vocalists such as Phil Woods, Conrad Herwig, Ernie Watts, Ted Nash, and Ignacio Berroa. His debut album, *Gone*, featuring vocalist Mary Stallings, received stellar reviews and topped the Jazz Week radio charts. Bass released “NYC Sessions” in 2015, named one of Down Beat's "Best Albums" of the year, and subsequently followed it up with “No Boundaries” in 2019.

In 2021, Bass shifted gears to the trio format, and he reflects "I think playing in a trio is one of the most challenging situations for a musician." As a listener I find there is nowhere for the musicians to hide, and throughout each song the spotlight remains on each player. I understand it also can be the most satisfying configuration because the musicians can really develop a kind of telepathy with one another. It was this interplay that led Bass to release “The Trio, Vol. 1,” followed by “Vol. 2” in 2022, and “Vol. 3” in 2023.

For “Trio Nuevo,” Bass brought in Tyler Miles on double bass and Steve Helfand on drums, both highly accomplished musicians, and the three explore new compositional roads. The album opens with "These Times," a composition that captures the chaos and uncertainty of contemporary life through abstract counterpoint and free jazz improvisation. Listeners will hear classic jazz peer through, while modern twists and an avant-garde rhythmic movement unfold.

Other standout originals include "August," showcasing a beautiful bass intro and solo by Miles, who shares the melody with Bass as the song playfully builds. The recording offers an airy vibe that spreads nicely across the stereo scape. “One Look” is a gentle piece that is a perfect reflective moment on this album that truly brings out the classic night club jazz feel. Then there is “December,” a mournful piece with deep rumblings on the piano and underscored by Miles' arco work. The range of this song clearly demonstrates the breadth of the musicianship on Trio Nuevo.

Bass's fascination with Bach shines in "Three Views of Bach," which reimagines Bach's "Partita #2" for piano in three parts, blending faithful renditions with improvisations on Bach's harmonies and rhythms. Trust me, it is unlikely one has heard Bach like this! Contemporary jazz freshly floats in with Denny Zeitlin's “Offshore Breeze” that blends the modern and old together in a coolness like no other. The album closes with "Gone," a reprise from Bass's debut album that reminds me of a Latin tango.

“Trio Nuevo” is a showcase for Bass's considerable skills and imagination, effortlessly weaving between free jazz, swing, and classical influences. With stellar support from Miles and Helfand, the album surely will captivate jazz aficionados who appreciate top-notch musicianship and a diverse array of musical styles.

Released April 19, 2024.

 

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CD from artist's site and Digital Download  via Amazon, Also available on Streamings Services.

 

 

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