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December 24, 2011

Nice Review by Chicago Jazz Music Examiner

Neil Tesser has said some nice things about me before in reviews of my work with Curtis Stigers, and even the occasional nice thing to me face to face (you know that’s a joke if you’ve ever met him). In his list of Yuletide Jazz CDs he includes A TRI-FI Christmas and has this to say:

“…One other piano trio, which you’ve almost certainly never heard of, shines even a little brighter. Tri-Fi is the quirkily named combo better known as the rhythm section behind the popular vocalist Curtis Stigers: drummer Keith Hall, bassist Phil Palombi, and pianist Matthew Fries. On A Tri-Fi Christmas, they cover plenty of the expected material (including five of the tunes on Marcus Roberts’ album, among them “Carol of the Bells” and “We Three Kings”). But Tri-Fi also include a couple genuine surprises – “In The Bleak Midwinter,” a balladic carol by the 20th-century classical composer Gustav Holst; and the obscure “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day” (based on a poem by Longfellow). More important, this trio snaps and crackles like a fireplace full of well-seasoned Yule logs; their nicely honed interplay makes even these chestnuts sound fresh. Tri-Fi rides along on great arrangements, and pianist Fries’ uncluttered solo lines, to offer a new Christmas classic.”

Thanks Neil!

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