A little bit of standards and a lot of fresh material. That’s the composition of the Bruce Forman Trio’s The Book of Forman (Formanism Volume II) (B4Man Music, 2015).
The musicians are guitarist Forman, bassist Alan Frank and drummer Marvin “Smitty” Smith.
The set begins with “Hate Mail (Letters of Love),” a delightful piece. Forman effortlessly moves from single string to chords and back as he guides us through this journey that’s part romance, part bitterness. Frank and Smith are locked in a groove throughout. The finale is setup by a guitar-bass duet, while Smith softens his strokes, working in some cymbal rolls for a change of pace. Smith’s rim shots and deft work on the high-hat are highlights.