Footprints – Rio Trio (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

You shouldn’t judge books by covers but occasionally it is okay to judge a band by their name. Rio Trio immediately suggests something latin, something with a jazz vibe, something subtle and sensuous, something cool and charming. And Footprints is exactly all of those. A sweet blend of flute, guitar, saxophone and percussion, Rio Trio makes chilled, sophisticated music that suggests up town cocktail bars rather than downtown nightclubs, discerning and accessible venues rather than basement clubs catering to an elitist underground jazz scene.

Like all good music there is plenty to be appreciated in what is actually being played and how it is all blended together as much as the end result. Some music is all about the sonic destination, Footprints is just as much about the journey. It is about the way the various instruments leave space for each other, the way that the musicians utilise deft and dexterous playing yet only put into the song just what it is needed. Right from the off you can tell that Rio Trio are a band who could amaze and impress the listener with their playing if they chose to showboat but the fact that they understand that understatement and serving the song is the job of the musician shows just how smart they are. That’s real class.

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