Jason Yeager Trio – Affirmation

The piano-led trio is a staple of jazz – has been since the beginning. However, the format can, at times, seem trite – even boring. The challenge for a contemporary pianist is to be different. Original songs help make Jason Yeager Trio’s Affirmation (Inner Circle Music, 2014) distinct. Adding a few guests here and there also spoils any chance of monotony.

With pianist Yeager are bassist Danny Weller and drummer Matt Rousseau. Three guests appear on selected tracks.

The trio is joined by tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger for “Smiled First.” It’s like a hybrid between ambient jazz and something more intense, accented by Rousseau’s rim shots. Preminger’s play is charming and soothing. Yeager and Weller play softly underneath. When Yeager steps out front, he does so with an elegance matched only by the overall beauty of this piece.

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