Myriad3, Tell (Alma)If you’re a fan of the jazz-on-the-edge sounds of E.S.T. or The Bad Plus, this one from the Toronto-based trio Myriad3 will be right up your alley. As composers and players, pianist Chris Donnelly, bassist Dan Fortin and drummer Ernesto Cervini make quite the team of sonic adventurers. The lone cover here is the band’s take on Duke Ellington’s “C Jam Blues,” which gets an intense and playful workout – rollicking at times, digging into the subtle side of swing at others. Other gems: their deep exploration of Fortin’s composition “Tell” and Donnelly’s “Drifters.” “Mr. Awkward” is a delightful tune with Monkish twists.
Hristo Vitchev Quartet, Familiar Fields (First Orbit Sounds)Bulgarian-born jazz guitar modernist Hristo Vitchev has a gem of a band, and as a result, this is a gem of a sophomore CD for his working and touring quartet. The San Francisco Bay area-band includes pianist Weber Iago, bassist Dan Robbins and drummer Mike Shannon. Favorites: “The Prophet’s Daughter,” the ballad “They Are No More” (a showcase for Iago), the propulsive “The Fifth Season” and “Willing to Live.” Vitchev’s impressionistic compositions paint sound pictures for us, and all four players deliver the goods mightily.