Jonathan Gee Trio –Dragonfly
(ASC Records asc cd 131. CD Review by Chris Parker)
Although pianist Jonathan Gee has cast his stylistic net pretty widely over the years (his acoustic piano playing an essential ingredient in Tony Kofi’s Monk-inspired band, his electric keyboard prowess most recently heard alongside Finnish trumpeter Mika Myllari on the extraordinary Northern Star People album View from the Pocket), the core of his art (documented on a series of ASC albums going back well over a decade) is perhaps fiercely interactive trio music.
Gee has always had a keen ear for sympathetic musical partners, from his long-time UK rhythm section, Steve Rose and Winston Clifford, to Italians Danilo Gallo and Alessandro Minetto (heard on the excellent 2004 artesuono album Cream of Mandarins), and Dragonfly continues this tradition by setting Gee’s robust but sensitive playing against a top-class New York-based pairing: bassist Joseph Lepore and drummer Nasheet Waits.
From the irresistible opener, ‘Beyond’, on which Waits and Lepore positively seethe under Gee’s vigorous runs and controlled climaxes, through a skilfully varied set of originals, plus a Monk tune,‘We See’, to the cogent closer, ‘Cicada’, the trio prove themselves equally adept at providing tumultuous, sometimes downright
thunderous power, passages of splashily percussive playfulness, and the odd quieter moment – in short, the whole gamut of piano-trio music, played with exemplary commitment and verve by three masters of the craft.