Past Present is the third release from guitarist George Cotsirilos, and the second for the trio. It is a strong follow-up to the trio‘s first release together, On the Rebop. This latest production offers up a good mix of original compositions and standards and remains fresh and swinging throughout.
Of special note is the lead-off tune, "Good Wood," which has such a catchy groove, it beautifully illustrates what is so attractive in the modern day guitar jazz scene, as well as what has always been infectious about guitar jazz. This bandleader can really play and he can also make room for his band mates, bassist Robb Fisher, and drummer Ron Marabuto to shine in their own solos.
The standard, "The Way You Look Tonight," is also done with enough of a unique approach that the overall integrity of the tune is kept intact, while it does not become stale as many covers tend to do.
"Franny’s Jump" and the title track are also solid offerings. The band’s dynamism is in full force and Cotsirilos’s dexterity is clearly evident.
Trio jazz, when played well, gives the listener the impression of intimacy between performers, but also a sense of playful improvisation interlaced with impeccable timing and precision. This production has it all. The compositions and arrangements are well-constructed and the technical relationship between the musicians is tight and seamless.
The George Cotsirilos Trio offers up an excellent example of modern trio guitar jazz in this project. This is an impressive collection of compositions that has the potential to stand as one of their best for years to come. It is clean, not overly stylized or forced, and results in showcasing the unadulterated talents of the musicians, giving each of them enough space to open up and express individually while maintaining cohesion and closeness as a group.