Paul Motion Trio 2000 + Two ‘On Broadway Vol. 5’ (Winter and Winter) 3/5

paul-motion-trio-2000Paul Motion’s place is etched in jazz history and will be forever inextricably linked to his tenure in the great piano jazz trio of Bill Evans. In the noughties Motion has led a series of acclaimed line-ups and has focused on reworking the standard repertoire with an ongoing Broadway project. This latest fifth volume sees him front a relatively new quintet with only long-time collaborator and pianist Masabumi Kikochi as an ever-present. The music is post-bop in feel hinting in parts at Mingus circa 1959-63. By far the most accessible number is ‘I see your face before me’ which features a piano solo intro from Kikuchi, taking a leaf out of the Evans school of refined playing, with Motion in turn providing sensitive accompaniment. In contrast ‘Just a gigolo’ is a much freer number. Throughout tenorists, Michael Attias and Loren Stillman, alternate between baritone and tenor with the former instrument, surprisingly perhaps, recalling the warmth of Ben Webster. Most accomplished of all is a gorgeous rendition of ‘Something I dreamed last night’ with a soulful baritone solo and Kikuchi and Motion both creating a mellow mood. While not yet up to the standard of the acclaimed ‘Time and Time’ album with Bil Frisell and Joe Lovano, if this band sticks together, even more accomplished recordings will surely follow.

Tim Stenhouse