One of the downsides to so much good music coming out this year is that I don’t get nearly enough time to enjoy or write about everything I want. And so I’ve been remiss in mentioning one of the many great new albums from this year — On the Way by Negroni’s Trio.
I very recently discovered the trio — Puerto Rican-born pianist José Negroni and his son Nomar on drums, as well as a rotating bassist — through the magic of the internet and they are my favorite current jazz act. In many ways they’ve supplanted The Bad Plus as my go-to group for adventurous, muscular jazz. If you really want to get technical, you can consider their music Latin jazz, but that’s just a label. What it is is stirring, melodic, daring music that any music fan can appreciate.
On the Way — the group’s seventh album — was recorded live at the Miami-Dade Kendall Campus Theater in Miami, Florida. That means you get the spark and intimacy of a top-notch live jazz show, but it’s so flawlessly executed you’d swear it was recorded in the studio.
Joining the father-and-son Negroni team is Josh Allen on bass, as well as saxophonist Ed Calle (four tracks) and violinist Federico Britos (one track). For your listening enjoyment I’ve updated my Sunday Jazz on GFS Spotify playlist with two of the record’s most potent tracks — “On the Way” and “Blue Forest.” But really, all 10 songs are worth your time.