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Bert Seager Trio
PIONEER
(INVISIBLE MUSIC)

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Over the years, Boston-area pianist Seager has only grown more refined and more adventurous. Beginning with his earliest post-bop quintet recordings, and then in several different trio settings, Seager has distilled his lyrical approach into perfectly balanced and unfailingly beautiful music full of quiet subtleties. On his latest release, he finds fresh ways into standards like "You and the Night and the Music," and he writes beguiling originals like "Joyful Neus (for Judi and Carlos)" that are full of intimate surprises. He also offers up Pete Seegerís "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" and the heartwrenching folk-tinged title track, both of which blend the song-like clarity of Seagerís jazz soloing with a deep feeling for Americana. Then, on "Trio Improvisation," he branches out into free improv, using his highly developed lyrical sense to make the parts cohere. His new trio, with bassist Masa Kamaguchi and drummer Také Toriyama, is light-handed and responsive and never overplays; each musician is an attentive listener as well as an accomplished soloist. For all its intimate complexity and understated charm, this is a trio thatís too alive and searching to be dull or complacent.

BY ED HAZELL

Issue Date: December 2 - 9, 2003
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