Derivatives, the debut album from the Collin Shook Trio, is 53 minutes of technically skilled and vividly expressive jazz.
Pianist Shook, bassist Dylan DeRobertis and drummer Matt Pirc have crafted a record that honestly acknowledges its host of influences while breathing new life into jazz with an ever-shifting batch of original compositions.
Recorded live in a single day in April at Mattlind Recording Studio, Derivatives has the uninhibited air of in-the-moment performance, showcasing the players' skills in hard-driving bop, ballads and Latin-tinged songs.
The album opens with "Mantra," a 6/8 waltz that builds from mellow chords to cascading piano notes from Shook. "Poca Cosa (The Little One)," written as a tribute to the downtown restaurant, begins with a rhythmic drum burst from Pirc and moves with a Latin swing.
The album's centerpiece, "Occupy Suite," is presented as a prelude and two movements, stretching nine minutes, during which it's easy not only to envision the massive Wall Street protests, but also to feel the anger, uncertainty and energetic yearning that drove the cause. The "Prelude" starts with some ominous chords, while "Movement 1" rushes in like a storm, edgy even at its quietest moments. "Movement 2" balances on the edge of chaos.
Well-educated in the breadth and possibility of jazz, the Collin Shook Trio bring versatility and originality to the local scene.