Following his successful 2012 release of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra, Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov tries on the more intimate role of recitalist for this live Decca album of solo piano pieces by Frédéric Chopin. Trifonov is a powerhouse in the Lisztian mold, and his incredible technique seems better suited to fast, flashy fingerwork than to more subdued music. Certain pieces, such as the Rondo in F major, Op. 5, "À la Mazur," the Étude in F major, Op. 10/8, and the Grande Valse Brillante, Op. 18, allow feats of prestidigitation, and there's no denying that he can perform with dazzling virtuosity.
On this trio album, Samantha Fish, Cassie Taylor, and Dani Wilde begin with the Rolling Stones' "Bitch" and end with the Steve Miller Band's "Jet Airliner," each taking a verse. The rest of the album is devoted to original compositions written by one or the other of the performers in a variety of blues styles, and the instrumentation also varies, though Taylor (daughter of Otis Taylor, with whom she played extensively), as the bassist, appears on almost every track. The exception is also the only solo track, Wilde's folk-blues number "Reason to Stay," on which she plays Dobro. Wilde also takes much of the lead guitar work, with Fish getting lead work on her own "Come on Home" and "Wait a Minute," as well as Taylor's "Move On." The switch-offs make for a good balance, and it's not surprising that this triumvirate has toured together in Europe. The album should help make their names better known, but that also might reduce their impetus to stay together.