Steve Hunt – piano, John Lockwood – bass, Gregg Bendian – drums and percussion
Usually the pianist is front and center in a jazz piano trio, but everything shifts when a trio is led by the percussionist, as is the case with Gregg Bendian’s oxymoronically-titled (given the volume) Trio Pianissimo featuring pianist Steve Hunt and bassist John Lockwood. Perhaps the all-acoustic nature of the trio makes the moniker apt for Bendian, known for his fusion/prog rock excursions with the Mahavishnu Project and Interzone. “Sleep and Dream” gives Bendian a chance to really shine on glockenspiel as well as drums, creating a sound world that equally evokes Thelonious Monk and Morton Feldman, another avatar of pianissimo. The trio shows a thorough absorption of Monk’s sense of rhythm on this Bendian original as well as the cover of Monk’s little-known “Gallop’s Gallop” which makes the irritating misspelling of Thelonius, a common mistake for non-initiates, all the more puzzling. But, hey, it’s ultimately the music that matters!