Too often the pianist in a bass and drums trio seems to feel the need to cover every minute of the running time with notes. It’s the aural equivalent of decorating every inch of the walls of a house with pictures, perhaps out of fear that the wallpaper isn’t interesting enough. Of course the most successful design is one where every element is integrated harmoniously. Raphael displays an understanding of this and her playing is canny enough to allow for pauses and spaces that reveal the fine underpinning of Greene and Lawless.
A Beautiful Friendship is a lovely and accomplished album that provides the pleasure of simple and direct communication.