The October Trio New Dream

This trio have been around for several years, but New Dream is particularly significant, given that it's been three years since their last release, during which time the rhythm section of Josh Cole and Dan Gaucher decamped for Toronto from Vancouver. This handsome CD is brought to you by Songlines, which has yet to release a bad disc. Opening with the funky "1983," Gaucher in particular piques the ears with propulsive drums, over which Evan Arntzen's sax carves deep behind the beat melodies into the froth. Throughout, Arntzen is the cerebral, cool presence, while the rhythm section is more animated. This chemistry suits his tenor playing well; Arntzen's soprano work gets pensive like Steve Lacy in tracks like "Do Your Thing," but tends not to make as strong an impression. It actually took me a few plays to really get into his style, whereas there was no such hesitation with the other two members. However, the group chemistry and strong, unfussy writing render any quibbles minor. (Songlines)