Joe Cartwright has ideation and touch on the piano that is formidable yet sensitive. There is a hint of Bud Powell in his playing, but he is definitely in his own bag. His runs are not simply a series of notes, they are cohesive and fit the tune. Cartwright understands the blues element and works it in with style and elegance
Pure bop from the top is a fit appellation for Artt Frank, his dynamics are superb and the exchanges with Cartwright are cleverly executed. Frank has developed a style that is totally responsive to the soloist. The accents are aways apropos to the message of the tune. One might say that Artt Frank conducts a clinic in the art of using brushes. Chet Baker often said that Artt was both strong and yet sensitive in the use of (brushes) and the listener will certainly bear witness to that fact upon hearing this album. Artt Frank has developed a remarkable 'ear' by virtue of the fact that he is an 'in the pocket' player and correctly reacts to the nuances and shadings of the soloist with uncanny ability.
Steve Rigazzi on bass complements this ensemble with time as accurate as the German rail system. His soliloquies are beautiful with a sound to match.
"Blues In The Closet" is a bop inspired composition by Oscar Pettiford. Joe Cartwright is showcased in fine fashion with Artt Frank complementing him with "artful" brush work. The four bar exchanges with the piano and drums were a case study in solid musicianship.
There is a kinsmanship within this trio and it is evident in "You And The Night And The Music" as all three cook with the burners on high.
I've Never Been In Love Before" and if you haven't, this tune will bring you there. This composition is orbit bound, up there with the satellites and tape measure homers. Cartwright gets after it with a purpose and Frank is booting him onward and upward with meteoric support laced with finesse. Again the bass walks powerfully but with grace and elegance.
If you want to hear the real thing, this CD is it. There is a no nonsense feel throughout, with one purpose in mind, to SWING to the maximum and they achieve it with brilliance bred of experience and professionalism.