Expat New Yorker, Jeff Presslaff, has spent ten years helping to establish Winnipeg as Canada's fastest growing jazz scene, and is celebrating the start of his second decade as a Canadian with his first album as a leader -- an all original collection for piano trio.
Audiences across the country and listeners to jazz and college radio have heard Jeff's original renderings for big band with the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, and his new takes on Latin jazz with Papa Mambo. He has made his mark as a trombonist as well as a composer in these ensembles, but he is also (and notably) a pianist with a sure touch, an incisive rhythmic feel and a personal style that is at once adventurous and engaging.
Though he has played professionally since age 15, and has contributed to dozens of recordings, this is the first time he has recorded in the traditional trio setting. The impetus for this turn towards intimacy is the discovery of two young musicians who have eagerly matched his enthusiasm for tight ensemble playing and free-wheeling, open-eared improvisation.
Julian Bradford is poised to become one of Canada's premier bassists. His work on this CD should lay the groundwork for an enduring reputation as an artful accompanist and a superb soloist. Julian has toured North America with Moses Mayes, and adds feel and flow to each of the many projects that have the good sense to employ him.
Scott Senior has worldwide performance experience as the percussionist for the Duhks, and is also the conguero for Papa Mambo. An avid student of the art, he has studied with the masters of Cuba and Brazil. When Jeff proposed joining his trio as a drummer, Scott jumped at the opportunity to expand his horizon, and bring his unique sensibility and enthusiasm to a new instrument and a new situation.
The result of this fortuitous confluence is a group and an album of great range, spontaneity and accessibility. Its rare combination of simple tunefulness, rhythmic sharpness and harmonic sophistication will appeal widely.