Recommended: SMB3 – “Echoes From A Distant Past”


This is music that is simple catchiness and nuanced complexity.  There’s a lively skip and hop to this music that recalls music where the crossover to hip hop occurs and melodic hooks that hit the sweet spot where post-bop jazz and indie pop find common ground.  This debut by the trio SMB3 is yet more evidence of Robert Glasper’s enduring influence on the modern scene, that new generations of artists see his open door, run straight on through it, and then take off in whatever directions their heart and instrument desires.

The tempo typical to Echoes From A Distant Past is upbeat, cheerful even.  But the rhythmic outbursts create a dynamic where sudden changes in the tides… and the ripples that shift along their surface… provide a number of misdirects and tension-release to keep the ear intrigued.  At its core, SMB3 is a piano trio, but there are a number of guests that sit in to add a nifty dose of texture.  The ease with which a saxophonist is able to melt right into their flow on “Bite” shows how the trio’s music is open and free, even when it’s wound tight.  When it finally gets rolled out for some solos, the piano-bass-drums trio is just as deft at contributing some helpful accompaniment as they are at taking the lead.  There are a number of interludes sprinkled throughout, and their mix of hip hop, gospel and jazz certainly don’t do anything to argue against the Glasper influence.  And a groovy, hopping rendition of Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” is proof that the trio is seeking to develop their own unique voice.

Just a very fun, very friendly recording, and a seriously promising debut.

Your album personnel:  Shahan Nercessian (piano, guitar, sequencing), Michael Siegel (bass), Benjamin Bornstein (drums) and guests:  Alan Manos (trumpet), Yasunori Fukami (trombone), Timothy Greer (tenor sax), Mario Cerra (tenor sax) and Martin Haroutunian (zurna).

This album is Self-Produced.

Listen to more of the album at the artist’s Bandcamp page.

Music from Boston, MA.

Available at:  Bandcamp