If this is the taster then we are in for a treat when the LP drops later this year.

Edition: EDN1238

Joe Webb: piano; Will Sach: bass; Sam Jesson: drums

This EP is one of a string to announce a new LP this year from Joe Webb. The ambition of this trio is to meld the stride piano style of jazz’s grandfathers with the style of guitar trios from the far more recent Grunge school of rock. Naturally a piano trio that is pushing such boundaries will be seeking a cross-over audience and one might expect echoes of EST or The Bad Plus (when they were a trio) in a hard-driving rhythmic section.

You certainly get the exuberance of those groups, particularly in the punchy riffs on the opener, ‘’CCTV’. But where there is a difference is in Webb’s strength in his piano playing. On ‘CCTV’ the riffs alternate with glistening arpeggios. Across this five-track set, Webb has the knack of hammering the notes and chords, like some of the greats of the stride piano, while also having a delicacy of expression that is far more contemporary.

On ‘Red’, track 2, and ‘Munchin in Munchen’, track4, Webb shows his finesse in exuberant, straight-ahead stride piano. In contrast, on the title-track and the closing track, ‘Silently’, he plays a delightfully floating extemporisation that sounds like it is being playing by four hands, so busy is the flow of notes.

Both tracks take us in a very different musical direction that borders on the avant-garde in the ingenious blends of notes that continually wrong-foot the listener while continuing the logic of the piece.

The set not only showcases Webb’s undoubted talent but also gives Sach and Jesson the opportunity to share the clarity and solidity of their rhythmic support. Sach’s bass solo on ‘Red’ captures the spirit of the best of the bop bassists and his playing across the set counterpoints the piano’s shifts and turns with swing and verse.

Jesson’s chuntering ride cymbal and rim-shots and skipping drum patterns that perfectly match the tempo and mood of each piece.

If this is the taster then we are in for a treat when the LP drops later this year.