"Quicker Than the Eye," "Now You See It," "My Lovely Assistant," "Prestigitation," Can You Keep a Secret," "Houdini," "Nothing Up My Sleeve," "Dirty Tricks," "White Doves and Purple Silk," "Now You Don't," "My Lovely Assistant" (short version) (65.00)
Rex Cadwallader (p); Mike Asetta (eb); Artie Dixon (d)
These are all Cadwallader compositions, which are not particularly special, although tracks three and eleven, "My Lovely Assistant," have a catchy theme.
These tunes are played mostly in a Latin or pop style by an unspectacular pianist backed by bass guitar and drums (which are tuned to a high pitch), with neither instrument offering sympathetic support. All three players are undoubtedly capable musicians, but as an instrumental entertainment it doesn't offer enough variation in performance. It also lacks the overall fascination that makes a band like the Oscar Peterson Trio such a standout success.
This is the kind of trio one might find working reasonably successfully in a café or bistro but it has little appeal as a Jazz CD.
By Al Merritt