John Butcher / Phil Durrant / Peggy Lee - "Intentions", Nuscope
www.nuscoperec.com

Trio records are best when all three players have some sort of an affinity for each other. Saxophonist John Butcher and violinist Phil Durrant have a rich history, one that seems to span centuries (or so it seems). Their trio with guitarist John Russell is well known, along with their involvement in Chris Burn's Ensemble. Though Vancouverite (a term that I think is used for someone who lives in the beautiful city of Vancouver, Canada) cellist Peggy Lee is a new addition in the duo Butcher-Durrant relationship, she doesn't at all sound out of place with these two. (To call Peggy Lee a novice or a new-comer would only be a misnomer!) What is most interesting about the session (recorded in June of 2000 in Vancouver) is the way all instruments want to marry one another. Butcher's soprano playing easily blends in with the very tight axis of other-worldly violin waves and the wondrous cello skimming. The listener is left to wonder just how long these three have practiced before this session (the answer I think is not at all). That's just how good this trio is. The multi-faceted sounds attack us from all sides. Oftentimes, you're not sure if you're listening to a cello or a violin, which is ultimately a testament to the musicianship of Durrant and Lee. "Intentions" comes highly recommended to any fan of trio music. PERIOD.

Tom Sekowski


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