TRIOS TWO WAYS…Jeff Cosgrove/Frank Kimbrough/Martin Wind: Conversations With Owls, Janice Friedman Trio: Live At Kitano

Same instruments, different vibes.

Jeff Cosgrove/dr teams up with Frank Kimbrough/p and Martin Wind/b for a mix of originals and standards that are so quiet and subtle that you’re going to think your speakers or headphones aren’t working. Barely imperceptible bowed bass,  piano and drums are felt more than heard on “The Owls” and the tactile reading of “My Favorite Things. Kimbrough’s feathery musings are like drapes on “I Loves  You, Porgy,” while a bit of assertion is finally felt as Cosgrove rumbles along on “Excitable Voices.” Almost ambient in delivery.

My first thought when I saw the  photo of Janice Friedman on the cover of this disc was, “Ugh! Another female vocalist!” Just shows how wrong a guy can be. She’s actually the pianist of a trio with Victor Lewis/dr and Ed Howard, and this gig at NYC’s Kitano is a cooker! She writes some of her own stuff, like the bluesy swinger “Get Set” and the modal “Lonely Sky” while she displays aplomb and clarity on “My Man’s Gone” and delivers a clever read of Chopin’s “Nocturned Left.” Oh, yes, she does sing, but she’s got a street wise delivery that works amazingly well on “God Bless The Child” and the bopping “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly.” Lots to like here-she coming to LA?

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