In listening to the five years of the Brad Mehldau Trio represented in this box set, one hears the unfolding of a new and significant part of modern jazz history, as the end of the 1990s opened the door on the explosive creative renaissance of the music in the 21st century. Nonesuch has compiled the five releases in the Art of the Trio series, as well as an additional disc of unreleased recordings from the same period (1997-2001), offering a serious reconsideration of what has already been accepted as a "next step" for the jazz piano trio's history.
Progression was recorded in September of 2000 at the Village Vanguard. It is a double CD set of the trio with Mehldau, Grenadier and Rossy, and spans a wide range of material. There are the ballads: ‘The Folks Who Live on the Hill,’ and ‘Secret Love’ build on the lyrical approach that the trio has taken so far, while ‘Cry Me A River,’ and ‘How Long Has This Been Going On’ have a torch-like, slow-swinging quality, with more of a focus on the blues feeling in the interpretation.
Those who consider themselves Oscar Peterson completists should be aware of The London House Sessions, a generous five-LP set that focuses exclusively on the Peterson Trio's 1961 engagement at Chicago's London House. However, completists are the only ones who would want to invest in this collection; others would be better off with individual LPs of the pianist's London House performances. One such LP is the Verve Master Edition of The Sound of the Trio, which was recorded in July 1961 and contains performances of "Tricotism," "On Green Dolphin Street," and "III Wind…
The piano trio material included in this Japanese reissue, along with another session from late 1958 (see The Art of the Trio, aka "The 45 Sessions"), constitutes a body of work which was never released in LP format during Sonny Clark's tragically short life. Clark was an underrated master of the hard bop genre who had a very subtle, artful touch.
Tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon had been an expatriate since 1963 when he discovered Europe was where the consistently paying jazz gigs were to be found. In 1976 he returned to the States and began recording for Columbia Records and also embarked on an acting career. Sony Legacy repackaged and re-released six Dexter Gordon albums of that era in their entirety with mini-LP sleeves and original cover art: Homecoming: Live at the Village Vanguard (1976), Sophisticated Giant (1977), Manhattan Symphonie (1978), Live at Carnegie Hall (1978), and Gotham City (1980).