This is a classic Piano Trio album in the mould of Bill Evan's great trios of the 1960s, but with more modern sensibilities and recording technology. The sound is superb - it was recorded in New York although Nikki Iles is one of the most well-known Jazz players and educators in Britain. The rhythm section of Rufus Reid and Jeff Williams are based in New York, so the leader made the trip to the home of Jazz for this project.
There are three original tunes and the album starts off with a Kenny Wheeler tune that really sets the mood as well as allowing Rufus Reid to show off his lovely tone on bass. There are a couple of classic Jazz tunes from Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck as well as a "merging" of two standards and a tune from a British, modern contemporary : Julian Arguelles. So a nicely mixed programme, ranging from the classic Jazz periods to present day - but with a distinctive harmonic vision that gives this set a unity and a feeling of continuity.
"Nardis" is muscular and energetic, giving contrast to the lighter feel of the original pieces, which are reflective and possibly meditative. Bass and drums both contribute nice solos and interact interestingly. I haven't mentioned the Glide by Ralph Towner and this takes us into ECM territory - another area where this trio are very much at home - that feeling of "Chamber Jazz".
The Medley of Spring tunes is a real piano feature, but the rest of the album sees the band interacting and Rufus Reid in particular plays some nice stuff on "In Your Own Sweet Way". Overall this is an album of great quality and with wonderful playing from all three members of the group - highly recommended to anyone with a liking for Jazz piano trios.
Nor really a jazz fan, apart from artists like Oscar Peterson, but having heard Nikki with Louise Gibbs at a concert at Leeds University was really impressed. Bought this on Amazon MP3 as soon as I got home :-)