Monday, January 19, 2015

Album Review: The Paul Shinn Trio- Easy Now

A musician and I recently compared notes on the success of the Green Lady Lounge, the venue on Grand Boulevard operated by John Scott.  The musician suggested that Scott had  “cracked the code” for attracting people to a Kansas City jazz club.  

The elegant decor, murky lighting, upscale service and the absence of a cover charge make the Green Lady Lounge a favorite haunt of fashionable millennials.  

The three 20-something members of the Paul Shinn Trio- pianist Shinn, bassist Dominique Sanders and drummer Ryan Lee- are part of that coveted demographic.  

Easy Now, the trio’s superb second album, was recorded at the Green Lady Lounge on August 11, 2014.  

Shinn credits pianist Benny Green for “inspiration” in the liner notes.  While tracks like “Handful of Keys” reflect the swinging sensibility of the mainstream jazz stalwart, much of the album more closely resembles the progressive work of the Brad Mehldau Trio.

The recording’s best moments occur when the band locks into a soulful groove.  A transfixing ten-minute rendition of “Ton of Simple,” for instance, merits its length.  

The delicate “A Desolate Cath” could be effectively employed as the theme song for a romantic Hollywood blockbuster.  The title track possesses a similarly strong compositional flair.

The album release show for Easy Now was at the Orion Room of the Green Lady Lounge on Sunday, January 11.  The audience was attentive and the atmosphere was sublime. Needless to say, the music was excellent.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

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