Todd Coolman & Trifecta are playing favorites

Bassist todd coolmanTodd Coolman & Trifecta are playing favorites

Collectables brings together jazz tunes they love

By David Sands
June 14, 2016

If you’re looking for something special to add to your music collection, Todd Coolman, a veteran of the New York jazz scene, may have just the thing for you. The Grammy-winning bassist and Purchase College music professor recently released a new recording with his jazz trio Trifecta called Collectables that he’s certain will fill a much needed niche for you.

Coolman is no stranger to the world of jazz. Over the last several decades, he’s played and recorded with a cavalcade of greats that includes Horace Silver, Stan Getz, Art Farmer, Ahmad Jamal, Lionel Hampton, Benny Goodman and James Moody. The bassist puts that knowledge to work on his new album, pulling together a menagerie of his favorite songs for listeners.

“I like to collect things … Among my many unrelated collections are baseball hats and ephemera, antique fishing tackle, drawings and photographs of birds, wristwatches (I am fascinated with the idea of time, generally), and various categories of books,”  Coolman says in a statement.

“So, it stands to reason that when I set out to record what is now my fourth CD as a leader (bassists, generally, are seldom bandleaders), that I would ‘collect’ a repertoire of enjoyable and memorable tunes chosen from the thousands I have either heard or played (i.e. collected) over the years, thus beginning my first ‘tune collection.'”

So what has Coolman assembled for his new 13-song collection? The album features well-known standards like Duke Ellington’s “Prelude to a Kiss” as well as personal picks like “New Rhumba” by Ahmad Jamal,  “Joshua” by Victor Feldman and “Funkallero” by Bill Evans. He also includes one of his own, “Out Of The Darkness,” and two originals from his bandmates, drummer Dennis Mackrel’s “With All My Love” and pianist Bill Cunliffe’s “Flatbush.”

Their trio, Trifecta, is named for a racing bet where the top three finishers are picked in the correct order. It’s a reference to Saratoga Springs, New York, where they first performed together a few years back, which is home to a major thoroughbred racing track (and also the place where they recorded Collectables).

Interestingly, Mackrel and Cunliffe are also colleagues with Coolman at the Skidmore Jazz Institute, a summer jazz study program that he directs.

“From the first time we played, there was an immediate, “hook up” filled with empathy, support, humor, intensity, sensitivity, swing, and almost every other desirable musical and personal trait one could ask for,” Coolman says of Trifecta.

“Having them join me for this recording became an easy and natural choice, since when we first got together several years ago, we have had great times in performance both as a stand-alone jazz trio, and also as a trio ‘backing up’ other estimable soloists,” he adds.  “We are versatile, and love to play in either context.”

Track Listing:
1. New Rhumba
2. We’ll Be Together Again
3. Joshua
4. With All My Love
5. Jimmy Up, Jimmy Down
6. Summer Night
7. Isn’t it a Pitty
8. Funkallero
9. Prelude to a Kiss
10. You’re My Everything
11. Out of Darkness
12. Three and One
13. Flatbush

Collectables is available here.

Title: Collectables
Artist: Todd Coolman & Trifecta
Label: Sunnyside Records
Date: May 20, 2016

Jon Liebman
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