(Clean Feed)

An unlikely instrumental combination is at the basis of an album whose title refers to Steven Tye Culbert’s novel “Love song for the Giant Contessa”. Two members of the trio descend from respected artists: accordionist Holshouser’s father Bill is an accomplished poet while bassist David Phillips is the son of Barre Phillips (enough said); the excellent Ron Horton is featured on trumpet. The particular amalgam of quasi-cantabile themes and dissonant crossroads, more akin to a small chamber ensemble than any form of “jazz”, establishes the ideal playground for about 45 minutes of peaceful reflections corroborated by distinct “popular” influences. This music does not need to overstretch its arms to be noticed and understood, being imbued of a sense of ease which could be erroneously defined as “simplicity”. But have a look between the lines and you’ll discover several touches of finesse revealing an undiscussed technical dexterity which raises the overall level of the record quite a bit.