Since its inception in early 2006, the FAB Trio has become one of the most in-demand jazz ensembles in the Baltimore/DC area-not only as a trio, but also as a ready-made rhythm section backing various local and national jazz artists. Individually, each of these three musicians is a master. As a trio, the group is unsurpassed as a powerful, grooving, fine-tuned instrument.
The FAB Trio is titled for the first names of its members: drummer Frank Russo, bassist Amy Shook and pianist Bob Butta. Shook and Russo may not be household names outside their base of Washington, D.C., but they are exceptional players. Butta is a sure-handed, hard-driving pianist. Together, the FAB Trio has uncommon cohesiveness and passionate positive energy. All three players write nice tunes that reflect the group’s orderly, muscular mainstream approach.
In a world well populated with highly capable piano trios, what makes this album stand out is its extraordinary recorded sound, the work of engineer Jeff Gruber. It may be coincidental, but Frank Russo has played on two of the most dynamic, incisive recordings of small jazz ensembles ever made in the standard CD format. (The other was Bob Boguslaw’s Gabrielle’s Hand, also on Summit, engineered by Alan Wonneberger.) -JazzTimes