Seattle Sound: Climbing Stairs CD Review

Setting Out
By Rachel Dovey with Seattle Sound
Review of the Month

Josh Rawlings Trio
Climbing Stairs
Broken Time
4 stars ****

Armed with a handful of creative tunes, a piano and a recent degree from Cornish College of the Arts, Josh Rawlings and his trio are setting out to make a mark on the modern jazz landscape and doing a damn fine job of it. The classic three-piece ensemble pounds out tunes that are whimsical one minute, funky the next. Each track, composed by Rawlings, lilts around dexterous key-stroking and agile solos, nodding to Rawlings’ classical education but also flying into the fancies of the composer’s imagination. Bass and drums are solid by Nate Omdal and Adam Kessler respectively, and the three work together very well, coaxing each tune through to the funky conclusion. Track three, “Acquittal,” composed as an overlay to Thelonius Monk’sEvidence,” is especially fun, with lots of dissonant harmonies and dramatic hesitations over propulsive drumming. With this album as a start, they’ll keep climbing! RACHEL DOVEY
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Climbing Stairs,” “Another Adventure

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