The Wayward Trio
This Portland, Ore., nouveau jazz trio has clearly listened to the likes of jazz jam king John Scofield and Seattle’s Combustible Edison and every now and then UK group Portishead. It’s the cool grooves in its playing. “Not Just Friends” (a play on the title of jazz standard “Just Friends”), written by guitarist Sean Gilbert (as are all but one song here), opens the CD with bassist Paul Stewart’s infectious groove moving things along from note one. Gilbert’s moody opening on “Memory Book” sets the stage for Stewart’s yearning, meditative solo, making his electric bass sound almost as rich and heart-resonating as an upright. “Too Shy to Say,” Stewart’s creation in 3/4, is a laid-back offering with a slight country tinge to it, driven along nicely by drummer Michael Partlow’s brushwork.