Mike Greenblatt, Aquarian Weekly
I must admit to having given up on the standard piano trio within jazz years ago. I mean, how much more could possibly be extrapolated from a format that reached its peak in the 1980s? It all started to sound like a rehash. I need horns! Enter Detroit drummer/composer Henry Conerway III, now the man in-demand on the drum stool in New York City, who, with pianist Kenny Banks, Jr. and bassist Kevin Smith, have self-released created a debut — With Pride For Dignity — that’s almost startling in how far and wide a piano/bass/drums presentation can still be. From stride to gospel, from bop to swing, from ballads to surprises, these three get down on originals plus creative covers of Duke Ellington’s 1940 “Cottontail”, Phineas Newborn, Jr.’s 1958 “Sugar Ray” and Jimmy Heath’s 1964 “Gingerbread Boy”, proving that the piano/bass/drums jazz trio format ain’t dead yet.