...individually and collectively, up-tempo, and with fire in their eyes.
Lightness and passion. Two words that don't always fit together, especially when describing a new jazz recording. Yet these are two of the primary qualities typifying this CD from the piano trio, New Stories, and their renowned colleague, the saxophonist Ernie Watts. Lightness -- because after over a decade together these New Stories guys don't need to scream to make their musical points. And passion? Well, that's simply the essence of their commanding artistry. This joy of collaborative invention, this inspired teamwork, this intense lyricism - here is what all jazz groups strive for.
New Stories is the most esteemed piano trio in the unusually fertile Seattle jazz scene, equally prized for performances in their own name and for those many times when they serve as a rhythm section backing visiting stars. And often the big names come back for more. On Speakin' Out, Ernie Watts, best known for his longtime gig in Charlie Haden's Quartet West, fits in beautifully on the trio's third CD as co-leaders, sharing their wit, their bluesy sensibility, their love of nuanced interaction, their wide-ranging expressivity, their ability to build the excitement in a long-unfurling musical line. On a recording dominated by original tunes by New Stories' pianist Marc Seales and bassist Doug Miller, Watts joins the trio in making the new songs sound like the standards they might well yet become. Watts supplied the album's motto, Real men bleeding on the battlefield of art, and while the line is meant to be amusing, jazz lovers will agree that with this overflowing of creative ardor, here is an overstatement which must be taken seriously.
"Highway Blues," from Speakin' Out, is included in the Windows XP operating system which has sold over 600 million copies since 2001.
1 So Near, So Far (Crombie/Green)
2 Blue (Marc Seales)
3 Highway Blues (Marc Seales)
4 I Have A Dream (Herbie Hancock)
5 Jordy's Strut (Doug Miller)
6 Apparitions (Doug Miller)
7 In Her Family (Pat Metheny)
8 Speakin' Out (Doug Miller)
9 My One and Only Love (Mellin/Wood)
Produced by New Stories
Recorded January 24, 1999 at Ironwood Studios & July 12, 1999 at Studio
X, Seattle, WA
Recording Engineer: Reed Ruddy
Assistants: Floyd Reitsma (Ironwood), Sam Hofstedt (Studio X)
Mixed by Reed Ruddy at Studio X
Mastered by Ross Nyberg at Studio X
Cover design & layout by John Bishop
Painting by Todd Bishop
Cadence (Jim Santella)
New Stories insures that the music swings and everyone solos. Their composed tunes have a built-in drama to hold your interest. From the modern mainstream, the ensemble speaks out through impressionism as well as with concrete formulae. Formed in 1988, the Seattle trio has two earlier recordings. Marc Seales and Doug Miller contribute poignant melo ...
All Music Guide (Dave Nathan)
For their second album, the New Stories trio pretty much follows the same blueprint it used for its first album for setting its program, mostly originals with a few pop and jazz standards added on. The major difference from the initial outing is the addition of hard blowing tenor sax man Ernie Watts on some of the tracks. When he's there, he forces ...
Berman Music (Butch Berman)
Add another new chapter to New Stories expanding catalog with their current Origin release Speakin' Out with Ernie Watts - and you'll be assured of a guaranteed best seller. This Seattle-based trio, consisting of pianist Marc Seales, bassist Doug Miller, and drummer John Bishop, just keeps getting better and better at refining the art. They comb ...
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
With enough bona fides that you could easily call this trio (+ 1) The little band that could', they are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release that started it all for them. A personable set that has aged well, this is a fine example of jazz for the masses where art and commerce meet with a big hug. Tasty stuff with the flair to take it ano ...