Mi3, Free Advice

Kevin Whitehead

By Kevin Whitehead

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Different piano, same go-for-broke attitude.

Mi3's debut We Will Make a Home for You, released in 2005, boasted happily raucous versions of tunes by Thelonious Monk and Eric Dolphy. Pandelis Karayorgis played electric piano there. On this even-better sequel, the not-as-famous-as-he-oughta-be Bostonian is back on his customary acoustic piano; the repertoire is mostly original, but the go-for-broke attitude is the same. Karayorgis, drummer Curt Newton and bassist Nate McBride have played together a lot since the early '90s, and have a loose, tough, push-pull sensibility — they engage in the kind of rhythmic high-wire work that comes from having partners you can count on. At times Mi3 come off like a trio of slamming percussionists — as on “Fink Sink Tin,” which sounds like a lost Monk tune. The bassist and drummer's aggressive (but always musical) approach makes this more equilateral than most piano triangles. The trio covers Ellington's “Mystery Song” and “Warm Valley” (the latter appropriately tender), but the standout is one of Sun Ra's loopy anthems, “Ankhnaton,” which starts Sun-ny style but which they soon make their own.