The set, recorded live at the Open Music Collective, in Vermont, perfectly captures the workings of this trio and the inherent quirkiness in the playing of Mitch Seidman, who surprises on pretty much every cut. Jamie MacDonald (bass) and Claire Arenius (drums) make every cut an enjoyable adventure.
Three songs here were written by the band – two by Seidman, one by Arenius; the latter’s contribution, “When Worlds Touch You,” is a moody ballad with quiet chording and a contemplative bass solo from MacDonald. Seidman’s “White Pearl” is a light, flowing piece where the rhythm section percolates under his clever and interesting solos. His “Zokomotion” has a bop feel.
Seidman really shines on the covers. His take on Attila Zoller’s “Struwelpeter” is a blues swinger and an example of how Seidman slips perfect little “ear worms” inside solos that stick with you. His solo on “Bag’s Groove” makes you forget the almost automatic connection between the song and Wes Montgomery. He mines Zoller’s catalog again for “Seascape,” a frantic tune that, on first listen, sounds disjointed… but listen to it more closely and you discover it’s disjointed in the best way!
The obvious respect the players in this trio have for each other shows in every cut. And at every turn, Seidman proves a very distinctive voice in jazz guitar.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s April ’11 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.