I’m endlessly charmed by the stories gathered and retold by David Greenberger. Instantly, I picture two older people at home on an evening, sat in armchairs tilted toward eachother, nursing a single drink for several hours. They’ve moved past the idle niceties that prelude deeper discussion; now they’re swapping anecdotes from the past and their sentiments toward all facets of existence, reminiscing over the childhood decisions upon which the future was built (“I had to choose one – trombone or football – and I went with the football”) and the philosophical pontifications that pool in the mind during times of solitude (“Everything on this earth is not done without first being formulated in thought”). Greenberger’s delivery is simple and sincere. These stories aren’t performed but simply told, driven by the gentle pleasure of sharing personal insight with cherished acquaintances, unembellished and devoid of the desire to be validated. Whether it’s diving into the profound or ambling through the mundane minutiae of living, conversational intimacy is a lovely thing.
Glenn Jones (banjo) and Chris Corsano (drums) understand this too, and their accompaniment carries the very same sense of casual social engagement. Fingerplucked banjo unspools like an Sunday mind, while snares and hi-hats punctuate intermittently like little affirmative responses of “yeah”, “I hear you” and “mm”. Vignettes on the nature of optimism are backed by buoyant patters of major key, while soft drawls on displacement and lethargy come cradled in some suitably spacious, slackened improvisations for chimes and open strings. There are 28 tracks here – most a little longer than a minute – which the trio collated over the course a mere three days. The resultant sound is lively but unrushed. There’s good reason for that. While the timeframe of music creation was fleeting, the energy that the trio bring to this record is the result of an intimate three-way friendship, brought forth from a common ground nurtured for many years prior.