TWO DIFFERENT TRIOS…Joe Policastro Trio: Pops, Michika Fukumori: Quality Time

Here are two different formats of jazz trios, one with guitar and one with piano.

Bassist Joe Policastro brings together Dave Miller/g and Mikel Avery/dr for a celebration of pop hits of the last few decades. The idea and delivery work surprisingly well, as it’s easy raise an eyebrow at the idea of material like Pink Floyd’s “Us and Them” or a medley of Prince songs. But you know what? These guys pull it off as the former has a Policastro delivering a nifty bass line alongside Miller’s spacey guitar work and the reflective guitar on “Condition of the Heart” and bass taking the melody of “Diamonds and Pearls” works deliciously. Some extra reverb on the guitar is added by Andy Pratt on a 50s sounding “Wave of Mutilations” and The Cars’ “Drive” and Andy Brown makes it a quartet on the Chet Atkins influenced delivery of the Bee Gees’ “More Than A Woman.” Fun on the frets!

Pianist Michika Fukumori keeps the ides a bit more traditional on a mix of her originals and a clever selection of covers. Teamed up with the supple Aidan O’Donnell/b and Billy Drummond/dr, Fukumori is clear and confident on “Make Someone Happy” and the gently swaying take of Ivan Lins’ “Velas.” She gets elegiac on “Solitude” and is erudite on “That’s All” while her own material like “ Cat Walk” and “Quality Time” is creative yet in the tradition.

JeruJazz Records

Summit Records

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