Simon Fisk Trio Unless

The embodiment of sensitivity, bassist/composer Simon Fisk's trio, with versatile pianist Chris Gestrin and legendary drummer Jerry Granelli, carry on deep conversations. But, tellingly, all the while they listen intently to what each other is saying and react with intelligence grounded in song-form musicality. From the improvised "Freedom Suite," with Fisk's haunting/ominous ostinato and the piano/drum back-and-forth, to the uplifting lyricism of "Get Caught Up," the trio's ability to play freely without and within is captivating. "Drum and Bass" shows clearly why Fisk chose veteran Granelli, who brings a depth of technique and breadth of imagination to the instrumental sparring. Gestrin's contributions are especially noteworthy. Yes, he plays his ass off but what makes the biggest impression is his inspired takes on the leader's tunes; he makes each one sing. Also worth mentioning are the pristine clarity and woody warmth of the CD's sound. (Plunge)