Three piano trios

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In the liner notes to his eponymously titled CD, pianist Larry Fuller writes, “When three musicians communicate with mutual support and a shared sense of the beat, a trio can be an impressive unit.” Amen to that! Each of these three piano-driven CDs ably demonstrates the accuracy of his statement. Fuller is accompanied flawlessly by bassist Hassan Shakur and drummer Greg Hutchinson as he explores a dozen tunes at various tempi. For example, Joni Mitchell's “Both Sides Now” gets a beautifully tranquil treatment, while he really burns up the keyboard on a stunning, supersonic version of Clifford Brown's “Daahoud.” Pianist Chip Stephens and his trio's eight-track disc, Relevancy—with bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer Joel Spencer—blasts out of the starting gate with a fast-paced version of Carla Bley's “Syndrome,” then delivers a relaxed interpretation of the Rodgers and Hart standard “This Funny World” before ending by ripping it up on Bill Evans' “34 Skidoo.” With bassist Paul West and drummer Ray Mosca, pianist Mike Longo—a student of Oscar Peterson's and long an associate of Dizzy Gillespie—works out on 13 tunes previously recorded by Peterson on Celebrates Oscar Peterson, among them a lively “Sweet Georgia Brown,” lovely relaxed performances of “I Remember You” and Thad Jones' “A Child Is Born,” and his own blazing rendition of “Daahoud.”