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Album Review

From the Portland-based Upper Left Trio comes Cycling, a worthwhile debut album. The trio consists of the most basic lineup, with Clay Giberson on piano, Charlie Doggett on drums, and college music professor Jeff Leonard on bass. The sound covers the regions of contemporary jazz and some mainstream jazz sounds, equally fit for jazz radio and smooth jazz radio. It's a relatively light affair, with the compositions all being originals from the band members and the instruments playing off one another smoothly. Doggett's compositions, in particular, tend to follow a more circuitous path that explores some unexpected territories. Now and then, Giberson takes the piano out for a romp that's worth hearing, but, in general, he holds back a bit, making more mood music than intense bop soloing by all counts. There's nothing terribly hard-hitting to be heard in the course of the album, but that's not really the mission either. This amounts to some nice, laid-back jazz, a little too chipper for evening relaxation and far too relaxed for anything involving activity, but perfect for basic background music on a weekend afternoon.

Cycling, Upper Left Trio
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  • $13.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 19 September 2003

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