REVIEW: Sorgen/Rust/Stevens Trio’s “A Scent In Motion”

This CD has been playing for so long in my CD playing units that I found myself wanting to listen to it over and over and not having to review it. But a review must be done so here it is.

The trio of Michael Jefry Stevens (piano), Harvey Sorgen (drums), and Steve Rust (bass) was one that worked when they came into a New York studio to record A Scent In Motion(Konnex) in 1994. For whatever reason this album was kept locked for 15 years, and jazz fans will be thankful that it is now seeing the light of day. These three musicians have played in countless sessions in the last 15 years, sometimes together, other times pairing up with someone, but you always hear excellents, and they demonstrate this on this album, one that is a mixture of bursts of restless energy before falling back into something more comfortable and soothing. In a track like “Sentry” or “Camco” they’re almost fighting for jazz dominance to where it’s pretty much like free jazz, but then Stevens will play a delicate melody before playing something that sounds like cascading waterfall, as he does in “Fairy Tale”. Even when Stevens ma be playing something very bluesy, you can often hear bassist Rust try to counterplay this. It’s not all the time, but when caught, it’s obvious they’re having fun regardless of the tone the song is trying to convey.

What I also love is sensing their unspoken language, obviously these songs came after practicing the songs for awhile but there’s something in this music, something that sounds like… you can hear mental activity and it’s not just in the way they play or how it’s played. It’s just spot on, and it’s a great thing to hear, especially when done so well.

These three have recorded together a number of times, and I hope that the next one will not take another fifteen years to uncover.