The Bass World Review of Blue In Green by Chris Kosky
Blue In Green, the latest CD release from virtuoso Terry Plumeri, is a trio recording, but not a piano trio, a bass trio — that is, a trio of piano, bass and drums, with the bass as the lead voice. You gotta love that!
Jazz bassist Plumeri's specialty is arco playing, and on this recording he bows the heads to all eight selections as well as all of his solos. The only time he plays pizzicato is when accompanying the piano solos. His arco sound on this recording is quite distinctive. Breathy and plaintive, it sometimes resembles a bamboo flute, sometimes the human voice, and other times something completely different. This sound may not be everyone's cup of tea, therefore listeners' opinions of the album may ride on whether or not they enjoy Plumeri's sound. But it seems Blue In Green is a concept album and Plumeri has chosen a roster of songs that really lend themselves to his breathy arco sound - Beautiful Love, Autumn Leaves, Gentle Rain, Dolphin Dance, Corcovado, Footpriints, 'Round Midnight, and of course, the gorgeous title cut - all of these work beautifully in the concept of this trio.
Plumeri's bandmates are top-notch. David Goldblatt's piano playing is terrific. His comping is understated and appropriately supportive, and his solos are very imaginative. Listen to his melodic excursions on Beautiful Love, Gentle Rain and Autumn Leaves, in particular. Drummer Joe La Barbera's intuitive accompaniment rounds off the collaboration. The trio favors a light and loose sound with plenty of interplay. Plumeri's comping for the piano solos is often more like counterpoint than walking, while La Barbera keeps it all grounded. The interplay, or group conversation, is particularly fun on their freewheeling version of Wayne Shorter's classic Footprints.
Plumeri displays tremendous musicianship, a lot of chops, and complete command in the arco department. The group sound and the musical discourse between these veteran musicians is a highlight of the album.