Three trios. Three triptychs. A concept album. “Three Times Three” is the new project by drummer Antonio Sanchez, who summoned a group of brilliant musicians for this recording. Three extremely different musical ideas, developed and entrusted to six sensitive, outstanding companions.
The first CD, featuring Brad Mehldau on piano and Matt Brewer on acoustic bass, consists of two original tunes by Sanchez plus a revived standard, that is, Miles Davis' “Nardis”, renamed “Nar-this” here. Mehldau, obviously much in evidence, stands out against Sanchez and Brewer’s flowing rhythms while sailing through Miles Davis' tune as well as “Constellations” and “Big Dream”, both by Sanchez. The same pattern applies to the other two groups: the second CD reveals another trio - this time with Sanchez supported by John Scofield on guitar and Christian McBride on both acoustic and electric bass – and a new triptych, opening with a gorgeous remake of Wayne Shorter’s “Fall”. The ambience is different, the mood is different: “Three Times Three” shows its second personality, portrayed by Sanchez through two original pieces, “Nooks And Crannies” and “Rooney And Vinsky”.
The last change of scenery stars Joe Lovano on tenor sax, supported by John Patitucci on bass and, once again, the band leader on drums. Flowing out to us are “Leviathan” and “Firenze”, two original tunes, whereas the grand finale is entirely given up to the great Thelonious Monk’s “I Mean You”. “Three Times Three” excellently unfolds from an amusing, original idea that makes this record uniform and multiform, smooth and amazing to listen to, all at the same time. It’s the sophisticated toy of a great musician, who has treated himself with an all-star band and released a record making his association with CAM JAZZ increasingly rich and diverse.
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