On the occasions that the Florian Ross Trio gathered to make this recording, jazz was both entertainment and art. The ten tracks include nine original compositions and a version of "Bye Bye Blackbird," one of the three live cuts on the disc, that's presented so creatively that it nearly qualifies as a new composition in itself. Pianist Ross and his compatriots, Remi Vignolo on bass and drummer John Hollenbeck, have that rare and wonderful quality of sympatico that lifts them far above the mundane. Ross' sense of melody is impressive and each player seems to have an intuitive grasp of the harmonic possibilities of the piano trio setting. Their interplay ebbs and flows in a manner that suggests a nearly occult level of mental communication.
Bill Evans for the 21st century? Perhaps, but any comparisons fail to do real credit to either side of the equation. This is simply great jazz in the truest sense - challenging, inventive, grounded in tradition but always reaching for new horizons. Ross has created great music in a number of settings, including grass ensemble, string orchestra and quintet, and now proves his true command of one of the purest forms of jazz expression.