Legendary jazz bassist Ron Carter has since 2002 led a drum-less trio with the late pianist Mulgrew Miller and guitarist Russell Malone, sometimes referred to as the Golden Striker Trio based on the title of their debut album. Miller left the band in 2012 and was replaced by Donald Vega, a younger and very talented pianist who used to be based in Los Angeles. Cocktails at the Cotton Club is the new trio's first CD, recorded live in concert at The Cotton Club in Tokyo, Japan. Due to the instrumental mix and stylistic choice, the group has an atmosphere of high quality chamber music. The dynamic range is somewhat limited and there's nothing flashy or bombastic about their music, but that is on purpose and that is not the point. The point is in the art of improvisation and interplay. The real excitement starts after the themes are stated, and attentive listeners will be rewarded by the wealth of ideas expressed and the beauty of the three masters' improvisation.