It wasn't the first time ever that these three musicians had played together - that was a Peacock-led date in 1977. This however was the moment when they chanced on the proposition (without even planning - see below!) that what jazz needed in 1983 was a back-to-basics Great American Songbook investigation, and one that breathed fresh life into these classic songs, making them sound freshly minted. Case in point - the 15 minute joyous romp through Billie Holiday's God Bless The Child that ends the first disc here, originally released later in 1983 as Standards Vol. 1.
Apparently the recording session began with no rehearsal or song choices - they just simply played, and ended up with two hours' worth of standards and improvisations. The two improvisations were in fact the next to be released, as Changes (1984) - an inspired, free-form album (Disc 3 in this box set) that built into this Standards Trio's modus operandi that they'd always leave room to improvise and run with a mood if it took them. Changeless, as mentioned above, would be the next installment of that. Lastly, in 1985, the cool and contemplative Standards Vol. 2 (Disc 2 here) was released, and was possibly the most successful album in creating an extended, unified mood reminiscent of Bill Evans' great trios.
|original album covers|