Hindsight is the recording debut of Affinity Trio, an exciting straight-ahead jazz trio comprised of trumpeter Eric Jacobson, pianist Pamela York, and bassist Clay Schaub. "There is an intimacy that our group achieves by playing without drums," says the pianist. "Although we also love playing with drummers, we enjoy the space that we have in the trio. Eric and Clay both have a strong rhythmic sense so, even though we're a drum-less group, everyone takes care of the rhythm."
Pamela York moved to the Chicago area in 2019 just before COVID shut everything down. After the pandemic's worst days were over, Affinity Trio came together. "Eric had a regular engagement at the Mason Street Grill (part of the historic Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee) before I moved to Chicago. When it started up again after COVID in the summer of 2021, he asked me and Clay to play a monthly Monday night gig that soon became every week. By playing as a trio so often, we quickly developed a large repertoire and grew together as a group."
After a year, Affinity Trio was more than ready to make their first recording, and 'Hindsight' is the result. Due to the musicians' familiarity and comfort with each other's playing, the entire album was recorded in one day. 'Hindsight' is comprised of four originals (two by Pamela and one apiece from Eric and Clay) and creative versions of six underplayed standards. The set begins with Eric's hard boppish "Open Windows," a medium-tempo swing tune that inspires creative solos by each of the musicians. Clay's "Fitzroy" has an infectious bass line, is bluesy without being a blues, and sets a memorable mood. The Afro-Cuban jazz classic "Tin Tin Deo" alternates between Latin and swing and is given a joyful treatment. Pamela's "Blues for Change" is a slightly disguised straight-ahead blues highlighted by a piano-trumpet tradeoff. Its title refers to the different challenges and changes that parents go through with their children.
"Theme for Ernie," a tender ballad made famous by John Coltrane, receives a rare revival. "The End of a Love Affair," usually played at a medium-slow tempo, is surprisingly turned into a blazing cooker. Charlie Parker's "Bongo Beep," which was arranged by the bassist, is a bebop blues with a slight Latin tinge. Pamela's sophisticated "Parisian Poet" is inspired by Erik Satie and Frederic Chopin. The rarely-performed Cedar Walton song "Hindsight" and Charlie Parker's "Segment" (the only song that Parker ever wrote in a minor key) conclude the memorable release.
All three musicians are enthusiastic about the future. "In Affinity Trio we enjoy playing together so much. Because of the instrumentation, the music draws listeners in and has a real intimacy. We feel that there is so much to learn and discover in this music. We have the repertoire and we all look forward to performing as a group throughout the United States and beyond."