by Thomas Cunniffe, Jazz History Online

It’s been a few years since Canadian bassist Brandi Disterheft released an album under her own name, and while she has remained busy with performances and recordings for others, listeners might have forgotten her astounding talent. Her new trio album “Blue Canvas” should restore those lost memories. The disc opens with a powerfully swinging arrangement of Bobby Timmons’ “Dat Dere”, and Disterheft’s flexible bass lines push her fellow musicians Harold Mabern and Joe Farnsworth to spectacular heights. Her unaccompanied “Prelude to the Crippling Thrill” showcases her richly colored tone, and like Charles Mingus, her solos swing the band without sacrificing the sound. Disterheft also sings on this album, and her vocals on her original compositions “Crippling Thrill” and “Blue Canvas” display an admirable range of emotion. At 80 years old, Mabern is in exceptional form: his solo on Clifford Brown’s “Daahoud” is a model of grace and restraint, while his solos on “Beehive” and “Our Delight” will propel you out of your chair with their energy and inventiveness. And how Farnsworth drives this trio, with his impeccable accents, bright cymbal work and crisp solos! At 46 ½ minutes, listeners will doubtlessly want to hear more of this power trio, and with any luck, this group will reunite for another album. This trio is just too good to make a one-time-only appearance. Disterheft should record more as a leader, and this trio appears to be a perfect framework for her talent.

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