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New York trio celebrates 30 years with "Perpetual Pendulum"

L to R: Peter Bernstein, Larry Goldings, Bill Stewart
John Roberts
Smoke Session Records
From left to right: Peter Bernstein, Larry Goldings, Bill Stewart.

Larry Goldings, Peter Bernstein and Bill Stewart first performed together in 1989, and first recorded together in 1991. Their new album dives deeper into their unique chemistry.

Organist Larry Goldings, guitarist Peter Bernstein, and drummer Bill Stewart are celebrating more than three decades as a trio with their latest album “Perpetual Pendulum,” a mix of original material and their takes on some jazz classics.

“Perpetual Pendulum” is their debut release on the Smoke Sessions label.

The label’s parent venue, Smoke Jazz & Supper Club in New York City, was opened on the former site of Augie’s Jazz Bar, where Goldings, Bernstein and Stewart first performed together. It became their regular Thursday night gig starting in 1989.

They recorded “Perpetual Pendulum” at New York’s Sear Sound Studio A, the same studio where they recorded their second outing, 1992’s “Light Blue.”

It’s been 30 years since the release of their first recording together, Goldings' album “The Intimacy of the Blues,” in 1991.

The organ, guitar and drums trio holds a special place in the world of jazz. It’s a configuration that’s nimble enough to cover modern swing, jazz standards, blues and soul music, while still leaving room for each musician to display their own flair.

Larry Goldings, Peter Bernstein & Bill Stewart "Perpetual Pendulum" video

This trio is aware of their unique chemistry.

“We all really dig each other, and that's probably the most important thing,” Goldings said in press release. “There’s a lot of crossover in what we like to play and listen to, and our individual visions of jazz tend to align. It’s hard to say, because we never really discuss it; we just try to make good records. We came up together.”

Bernstein agreed: “I think we all share a pure feeling of gratitude. With these cats, I feel pressured to play my best because they’ve heard everything I can do. At the same time, I feel comfortable trying anything with them because I know whatever I do, they're going to hold it together. We’ve all grown through our individual experiences, but we always come back to this. And it's only getting better.”

Listen for “Come Rain or Come Shine” from the album “Perpetual Pendulum” on KNKX.

Originally from Detroit, Robin Lloyd has been presenting jazz, blues and Latin jazz on public radio for nearly 40 years. She's a member of the Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Journalists Association.