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Ivy Trio

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Album Review

Greg Burk resides in Rome, Italy, but this CD recalled days when he was living in the Metro-Boston area, working with the Either/Orchestra and being inspired by swimming in the legendary Walden Pond. Many years prior he initially connected with bassist Jonathan Robinson and drummer Luther Gray at a class Archie Shepp taught at U-Massachusetts. Recorded in a study lounge at Harvard, the Ivy Trio, reunited 14 years later, parallels few piano-bass drums triads, as they suggest the European stylings Burk would later adopt. Burk, a clearly talented and forward-thinking pianist, is searching for new variance in nuance and phrasings. He is swinging sweet and light during "Dumbo's Dilemma," and takes an alluring samba to heart on "Operetta." "Duck & Gulls," clearly inspired by the Pond, is introspective and moody, but more percussive than melodic. He digs in on a powerful "Hupid Stumid," muscular and direct, but not pushy, rambles quite freely during "Blink to Be," and wittily changes chords in a unique fashion on the bop warhorse "Billie's Bounce." The first tune "Look to the Neutrino" is completely disarming and not reflective of the rest of the album. A knuckle-curve for sure, it utilizes a thorny, muddy, dense Moog synthesizer, sounding like a Farfisa organ, and is similar to a Bad Plus stance before Burk goes back to the acoustic piano. It's not bad, just incongruent. This is a minor quibble, for Burk presents a piano trio of a different stripe, removed from influences, save maybe Paul Bley, and creates on-the-spot spontaneous composition that is easy to recognize, tough to pigeonhole, smartly conceived, and well realized. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


Born: Lansing, MI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Post-bop pianist Greg Burk was born in Lansing, MI, to parents both active in classical music. He studied piano from a young age, sometimes with his improv-minded grandmother, and joined his high school's jazz band while playing gigs for pay on the side. He studied at UMass-Amherst with Yusef Lateef and Archie Shepp, and finished his bachelor's degree at the University of Michigan. After college, he moved to Bratislava, Slovakia, and toured central Europe with his own trio for a year before returning...
Full Bio
Ivy Trio, Greg Burk
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  • $6.93
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Jan 02, 2007

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