LRK Trio – If You Have A Dream
(LOS 186-2. CD review by Nick Davies)
The LRK Trio are a Moscow-based piano trio, although to use this term can be misleading, given that the music they produce is unlike any other: a modern sound, fusing strings and harmonica with Russian composition and melodies. The members of the band work as equals, but although the piano dominates, it is not to the detriment of the other instruments.
The trio comprises drummer Ignat Kravtsov, who has previously worked with Steve Turre and Stanley Jordan, on upright/electric bass; Anton Revnyuk, who has previously worked with Randy Brecker and Gregory Porter; and completing the line-up is piano player Evgeny Lebedev, who has performed and recorded with the likes of Jack De Johnette and Marcus Miller. With this rich performing heritage, the listener would expect a high quality performance and, in this pure quality eight-track album, they will not be disappointed: it is a thrilling rollercoaster between fast and mellow beats that has the all the hallmarks of a classic in the making.
LRK’s music has, at its fore, Lebedev’s dominant piano, complimented by other instruments – either strings or other members of the band. This is evident in the first track Nebylitsa which starts with the string quartet playing the introduction; a very mellow lead-in, setting the tone for something different to happen in the main body. The driving beat of Lebedev’s piano and Revnyuk’s bass increases the tempo and the rhythm, taking the listener to a different place. Just at the crescendo, the tune returns to a slower pace before picking up again to finish. What this track showcases is both Lebedev’s excellent composition and the masterful interplay between all members of both the band and guest musicians.
This theme continues throughout the album but there is a surprise on track six, Zingaro, which begins with Olivier Ker Ourio’s harmonica, leading into the strings and bass. This is then followed by the rest of the band to finish. A great song which has the potential to be a modern masterpiece.
If You Have A Dream is a 21st century trio album of piano complimented by bass and drums. There is plenty of improvisation, surprises and subtle twists that take the listener on a creative road trip. This is a first-rate listen, making it impossible to find a standout track, let alone a bad one. If a ‘Top Ten list of Jazz Albums for 2017’ were to be produced, this would almost certainly feature.