"Triplicate", Triplicate, Rhythmelodic * * * 1/2 (out of a possible 4 stars)
The past year was perhaps the most productive and rewarding in some time for jazz recordings by Twin Cities musicians.
Add to those these fine recent releases from the trio Triplicate (Joel Shapira, guitar; Bruce "Pooch" Heine, bass; Dave Stanoch, drums) and the duo of valve trombonist Brad Bellows and guitarist Dean Granros.
Triplicate is deceptively excellent. A band for some five years (you can hear it in their in-sync and interactive playing), its members have varied and extensive resumes as students, players and teachers, evident in the choice of material, incorporation of various idioms, and high level of musicianship.
There's an appealing deliberateness, spareness and relaxed feeling with Triplicate, reflected in some pieces played at a slower-than-usual tempo and the breathing room in the group's ensemble arrangements, as well as in solos by each player.
Speaking of solos, there's a maturity here, too, with no flashy passages, superficial energy, or showy displays--just direct, un-complicated playing that reaches the listener on many levels.
You'll hear Thelonious Monk's "Bemsha Swing," an Afro-Cuban, Brazilian reading of the standard "You Don't Know What Love Is." Bud Powell's hard-swinging "Webb City," Charles Mingus's "Nostalgia in Times Square," a John McLaughlin composition interpolated with something from the rock group Led Zeppelin, a funky Nawlins "Crescent City Strut," J.J. Johnson's haunting "Lament," a jazz-rock piece by Stanoch, and a multi-metered tune from Heine.