While attending the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 2001, pianist Michael Coleman, bassist Nathaniel Brenner and drummer Rob Schwartz recognized one common goal: exploration. Naming their trio Beep! They set out to combine exploration, creativity and integrity which all combine to their debut album titled Short Stories.
Over the course of the 14 songs on the album the trio expands. On one standard "You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To" the elements of the original are there - but Beep! Plays it their own way. An underestimated track is "So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright". Coleman’s piano here is magnificent along with the bass playing of Brenner. Opening track "Just Grems" is a great working piece for Coleman. It is not doubt the living in the Bay Area has influenced Beep! and their music. The fast paced "Rain Check" though could be about the rain itself but also brings to the image the frantic pace of San Francisco - the street cars and everyday travel.
Rob Schwartz is a subtle drummer. His use of brushes and his approach is excellent. Nathaniel Brenner is in the background with some forays into the foreground but provides excellent time keeping that allows Schwartz and Coleman to work. Short Stories is a San Fran album without trying to be a San Fran album. Beep! Trio has a fresh sound with all three bridging the gap between old and new.