Friday, December 30, 2011

Best Albums of 2011: ASA Trio

JazzWrap revisits a great year of discoveries in 2011.

ASA Trio (group)
Plays the music of Thelonious Monk (self produced; 2011)
Scott McLemore (drums)
Anders Thor (guitar)
Agnar Mar Magnusson (organ)

When I first heard ASA Trio I was blown away. Now almost 12 months later, I'm still stunned by the unity and excitement this trio can generate. Their debut full length, Plays The Music Of Thelonious Monk is fueled by leader, Agnar Mar Magnusson's driving organ. A challenging mixture of John Patton and Larry Young, Magnusson knows when to swing and when to pull back. Both McLemore and Thor add the colourful force around that help the trio's drastically different selections on Plays Monk. The trio move from bluesy rhythms of "Raise Four" to the resounding version of "Straight No Chaser."

ASA Trio was a refreshing discovery earlier this year and I've been trying to spread the news to as many friends as possible. You don't get trios like this very often. Especially a trio led by the organ. Plays The Music Of Thelonious Monk is and album that let's everyone know ASA Trio is a group that must be heard!