Red Blue Green Transparent Thesis

It's quite a feat to make a debut recording confident and relaxed, rather than anxious and solicitous. The trio of pianist Tom Richards, bassist Andrew Pacheco and drummer Jay Sussman come across like old pros, navigating their all-originals repertoire with unruffled directness, despite what could be daunting openness and rapid-fire changes in direction, tempo and structure. The initial charm of Richard's "Turn the Koala" gives way to entwined out-ness reminiscent of Paul Bley, or even Keith Jarrett's freer playing. Pacheco's "Recovery" exudes a buoyant Latin-ish feel balanced with a positive pensiveness, ceding to a bluesy section that quickly morphs into an intense group interplay featuring sinuous and sensitive stick work from Sussman. "Agoo Agoho" pulses along, but Richards' piano lines are made of rubber, expanding and contracting, wedging in more or fewer notes and attacks, to dramatic effect. Thinking typical piano trio? Forget it. These guys are adventurous explorers. (Pet Mantis)