Some piano trios blow you out of the water with the sheer force of the improvisations. Others do other things. The Art Bailey Trio, as heard on Quiet As A Bone (HRL Records RAT-002), do those other things.
Art Bailey wows you with his very quirky compositions. They are harmonically advanced, melodically unexpected, chromatic/a-chromatic and delightfully asymmetrical.
Other than two group improvs, the disk features Art's pen as much as his piano and the trio's appealingly loose-tight improvisational stance. In Michael Bates, bass, and Owen Howard, drums, he finds a perfect compatibility, a locking-in of sound and sense.
So what does it sound like? There is a hint of the early-mid Paul Bley trios and Herbie Nichols, but only that. This is original sound, very hip, straightforward outness.
And the mesh between composition and improvisation is tight. Art has a strong idea of where he's going and the trio goes with him as a unity.
This is something to hear. If you dig modern-new-thing-avant piano trios, do not miss this.
For more information and to order a copy, past the following link into your browser: http://www.artbailey.org/listen/