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Formed in 2014, the 3D Jazz Trio is a synergistic ensemble of virtuoso musicians: drummer Sherrie Maricle, leader of the pioneering, all-women DIVA orchestra; versatile bassist Amy Shook; and award-winning pianist Jackie Warren. The group’s fourth release, 9 to 5, is a celebration of the members’ favorite songs spanning various genres and styles.
An accomplished arranger, Shook transforms the title track, country legend Dolly Parton’s famous song, into a blues-drenched repartee. Warren’s simmering cascade of notes, Shook’s expressive con arco lines and Maricle’s rumbling beats set the joyful mood. Warren embellishes the melody with a vibrant, boogie-woogie sensibility. Shook responds with a brief improvisation that is equally soulful, and the agile, dynamic flow of the collective performance captivates with its passion.
Warren, meanwhile, reimagines the haunting Afro-Cuban ballad “Lágrimas Negras” as an emotive dance. She opens the tune with bittersweet chords over her bandmates’ sashaying cadence. Her percussive keys complement Maricle’s percolating drums and Shook’s reverberating strings. The bassist’s bowed solo brims with lyricism while Maricle’s exhilarating polyrhythms take center stage, elegantly balancing sophistication with lively spontaneity.
Warren also contributes one of the two originals that fit nicely within this colorful set, the whimsical “Theme for B.T.” dedicated to her cat. Her fast-paced, arpeggio-laden pianism bounces off Maricle’s boisterous drumming and Shook’s lithe and graceful vamps to thrilling effect. The piece showcases each woman’s instrumental prowess as well as the spirited camaraderie that marks the group’s unique sound. It’s the perfect finale to this engaging album.
Although 9 to 5 doesn’t break new ground, it is a work of high-caliber musicianship. Its charming nuances, and the sublime esprit de corps within the band, make it a rewarding and delightful listening experience. — Hrayr Attarian