Alexander Bryson: The Alexander Bryson Trio review – dazzling debut

(Hard Bop)
Flawless strength and delicacy breathe new life into jazz tunes in various styles, from the early 1930s to late 50s

You’d have to think back a long way to name a jazz piano trio with a more impressive debut than this. It depends, I suppose, on exactly what you’re looking for, but if that includes an imaginative choice of material, great rhythmic poise, total rapport among all three players and more than enough technique to make it all sound perfectly relaxed, then The Alexander Bryson Trio is for you.

The eight numbers, originally show songs or jazz tunes dating from the early 1930s to the late 50s, touch on a variety of styles – swing, bebop, ballad and even boogie-woogie, each treated in such a way as to make it glow with new life. The album comes with proper notes, by my fellow jazz writer Brian Priestley, himself a pianist, who explains in some detail what makes Bryson’s playing so beautifully apt at every turn. The same is true of bassist Jeremy Brown and drummer Matt Fishwick. Their combination of strength and delicacy is faultless, especially in the extraordinary, super-slow boogie After Hours. If I had to choose one of the eight tracks, this would probably be it.

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