The Fred Hughes Trio: Matrix

Fred Hughes teams up with Amy Shook/b and Frank Russo/dr to present a tribute to a wide swath of fellow inspirational pianists. His touch is confident and warm, and he mixes up the moods, ranging from nimble interplay with Russo on “I Got Rhythm” to a use of rich spaces with Shook on a pastoral “Dolphin Dance.” Russo’s military snaps contrast well with Hughes’ glassy touch on Chick Corea’s “Now He Sings, Now He Sobs” and the team gets fun and kinetic during the title track. Johann Bach gets a tip on the intricate and clever “Two Part Invention” and Tchaikovsky’s “Andante Cantabilie” is a lovely reflective ballad. Style with substance in abundance.

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