Triangle: 3 Sides of A Question (2004)
Does anyone out there remember the jazz group that became known as Rubisa Patrol? The quartet recorded two albums for ECM in 1976 and 1977; pianist Art Lande was the leader and trumpeter Mark Isham was among the original members. Lande's own debut came in 1973 with ECM's Red Lanta. After several addition albums under his own name and a two-year sojourn in Switzerland as a jazz educator, Lande relocated to the Boulder, Colorado area, where he has remained since. Art Lande has been strongly influenced by the modality of Bill Evans and has generally appeared in trio settings recording for 1750 Arch, Great American Music Hall and Synergy. He also recorded a live album from the Vartan Jazz Festival in the Denver area during the late 1990s.
Triangle is a jazz piano trio formed in 2001 that seeks to perform hard bop, originals by Art Lande from his 1970s and '80s songbook, and works by European composers. I was quite surprised to learn that Lande is the drummer for Triangle. With Doug Anderson on bass, the piano chair is handled by Erik Deutsch. While Anderson is a graduate of University of Colorado at Boulder, Deutsch was educated and performed in the Washington D.C. area. He studied with New York pianist George Colligan and relocated to Colorado, where he enrolled in piano at the Boulder school.
The eleven tracks on this album are largely original compositions from Lande, several ex-students of the pianist, and Lee Morgan; it closes with the standard "In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning." Much of the music is performed in the introspective and lyrical style popularized by Bill Evans, and in a "blindfold test" setting, Deutsch's playing easily sounds like the recordings of Art Lande. As a percussionist, Lande is attentive and non-intrusive. On the more aggressive "Bar-Rock," he joins Deutsch and Anderson in raising the level, and on "VHS" Lande stretches out with a drum solo. "A Crimson Scarf" begins with Lande intoning the words of a poem prior the performance of the tune. Many of the songs are played in a relaxed manner, whether ballad, blues or up-tempo, with "Bar-Rock" and Lee Morgan's "Me'N You" the closest to being cookers.
Track Listing: Julian, So It Seemed, Bar-Rock, Out'A Town, Pasamatania, A Crimson Scarf, Me'N You, VHS, I See Better With My Eyes, Spongello, In The Wee Small Hours of The Morning.
Personnel: Erik Deutsch, piano; Doug Anderson, bass; Art Lande, drums