Jazz trios with no piano?

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by project_c, Apr 15, 2017.

  1. project_c


    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    Looking for recommendations for jazz recordings (old or new, bebop style) featuring a trio BUT without a piano.

    (Nothing against pianists, just really like the sparse sound of a trio with just one horn or guitar alongside the bass and drums).
  2. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Arthur Blythe Trio - sax, drums, tuba - swings like a...
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  3. Coriolis


    Feb 26, 2017
    SL UT
    Sonny Rollins is famous for the non-piano trio. He said the lack of chordal instruments gave him more freedom for soloing.

    Check out "Way Out West" and "Live at the Village Vaguard" for starters. Fantastic, classic recordings.
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  4. MrMyopia


    Dec 1, 2016
    Little Rock AR
    Ed did plenty of trio gigs and they always killed.

    Edit: Sorry, I just noticed you were requesting bebop recommendations. Check out Mark Elf in his trio setting. GREAT bebop player!
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  7. oren


    Aug 7, 2007
    Salem, OR
    That Konitz Motion album is great, as are of course, the Rollins recordings.

    Steve Grossman had a pair of CDs in the early 90s called Way Out East volumes 1 and 2 with Junie Booth on bass and Joe Chambers on drums. Worth checking out if you can find them.
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  8. Michael Karn

    Michael Karn

    Apr 16, 2014
    There's a ton of stuff, especially if you expand from just trios to multi-horn groups
    Sonny Rollins - Besides W.O.W. and the Vanguard record he has a ton of chordless records. Favorite trio dates of mine include the Freedom Suite, Aix en Provence (with Kenny Clarke), the trio half of S.R. and the Big Brass, East Broadway Rundown, and Stockholm 1959. If you can find the Complete RCA Victor box, that has several trio sessions, as well as the epic Our Man in Jazz date, quartet with Cherry, Cranshaw and Higgins (look for the complete version of that session too, the RCA box "only" has the originally released three tunes). And there are plenty of other bootleg things plus a lots of amazing video too
    Joe Henderson - Besides the Vanguard records with Ron and Al Foster there are several live dates with Al and Charlie Haden (my favorites are the An Evening With dates), a studio date with Al and Rufus Reid and something from the 70's with Wayne Darling and Ed Soph, Barcelona. There are also some nice videos with Dave Holland
    Elvin Jones - There are a lot of chordless Elvin sessions, starting with the trio with Jimmy Garrison and Joe Farrell, a couple of records (Puttin' It Together and The Ultimate) and some great videos too. There are several live trio things with George Coleman and Wilbur Little and a great quartet record called Coalition with those two and Frank Foster and Candido added. Also, Live at the Lighthouse with Liebman, Grossman and Gene Perla (some video too) and there are few trio tunes on Heavy Sounds
    Max Roach - M.R. Plays Charlie Parker and part of Max Roach + 4 have quartet stuff with Hank Mobley and Kenny Dorham and either George Morrow or Nelson Boyd. And in the 60's Max had two classic chordless quintets, one with George Coleman, Booker Little, Ray Draper and Art Davis, and one with the Turrentine bros, Julian Priester and Bobby Boswell. There's video of both groups. And his last group with Odean Pope and Cecil Bridgwater, they made a lot of records
    Mingus - Mingus presents Mingus and the Mingus at Antibes record

    A quick look through my collection finds piano-less things by Bennie Wallace, Ernie Henry/Kenny Dorham, Charles Lloyd, Don Byas (the Town Hall stuff with Slam Stewart), Joe Lovano, Lucky Thompson, and Yusef Lateef, among a whole lot of other stuff. If you expand from bebop into freer styles then a whole other world of stuff opens up, Ornette, Ayler, Steve Lacy, Old/New Dreams et al. And for a guitar trio record, for me it starts and ends with Kenny Burrell's A Night at the Village Vanguard, with Richard Davis and Roy Haynes, so amazing
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
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  10. s van order

    s van order

    Oct 4, 2012
    RIP Mr. Blythe. His tuba-based trio not only could swing but went out into the free and returned safely to home, tough to do.
    Tom Lane likes this.
  11. project_c


    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    Thank you for all these awesome suggestions, it's pure gold!
  12. Emoody

    Emoody Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2012
    My favorite Trio is the Downbeat "Poll Winners" with Berney Kessel, Ray Brown and Shelly Manne.
    4 sessions starting 1957 "The Poll Winners", 1958 "The PW Ride Again", 1959 "The PW Three", 1960 "The PW Exploring the Scene" and a last one 1975 "The PW Straight Ahead". Nice repertoire with standards and originals and awfull walking lines and solos from RB, ideal for transcribing.
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  13. I love Arthur Blythe, but I don't think that is so difficult for great musicians.
  14. My personal all-time favorite:

    In terms of piano-less trios in Free Improvisation, Parker/Guy/Lytton is probably the most important:


    All lesser known favorite:

    For Free Jazz:


    These two Brotzmann trios were great:

  15. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Columbia SC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I am absolutely amazed that no one has mentioned Jim Hall or Jimmy Raney yet.
  16. oren


    Aug 7, 2007
    Salem, OR
    I was interpreting the exercise as trios without a chordal instrument, but (now that I reread the OP) that is a self-imposed constraint!
  17. project_c


    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    Both volumes are on Spotify, they're great! I also found another live trio recording by Steve Grossman, it's called 'Bouncing with Mr A.T.', has a great version of Afternoon in Paris (as long as your eyes can make it past the terrible cover design...)
    oren likes this.
  18. project_c


    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    Just looking through Jimmy Raney's albums, I found an album called Stolen Moments which is not strictly speaking a trio recording (I think there's 2 guitars) but it has a very nice sparse sound to it. Thanks for the suggestion.
  19. project_c


    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    I'm going to post one of my favourites of all time here, Whisper Not by the Tom Warrington Trio.
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  20. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    Allan Holdsworth - "The Sixteen Men Of Tain"
    The Late Dave Carpenter on double bass.
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