Craning (Sunny Sky; 2014)
Agnar Már Magnússon (organ)
Andrés Thor (guitar)
Scott McLemore (drums)
A more mature Asa Trio emerged last year with the release of Craning. A wonderful and well developed fourth album (first with full original material) from the young Icelandic trio.
Craning melds and magnifies each members strengths that many have seen in their solo projects. This a beautiful record from the romantic folkish opener "Something To Make You Change Your Mind," which is soft and crowd pleasing. This extends to the gospel-tinged "Green Door" in which Magnusson's organ lays a steady pallate of emotions that envelops the listener.
The great thing that has always excited me about Asa Trio is that while this is might sometimes be referred to as an organ trio (if you want to describe it that way), they actually are a much more like a one conhesive unit than that. Thor and McLemore both shine throughout individually on latter portion of session which turn quite reviting and funky ("On Pluto" and "What Was I Thinking").
Craning is a superb debut of original material from what is now a veteran trio. I have written their praises for a few years now. And this is just another sign of their continued growth both individually and as group. Highly recommend. And should have been part of my best of 2014 if I every put that list together like I promised.