The joyful freedom of Ferde Grof On the Trail captures precisely the intended spirit of Walter Smith III's album Twio, which see him collaborate closely with established colleagues in double bassist Harish Raghavan and drummer Eric Harland. High quality, 180 gram, 12'' LP- comes with download code containing the high-res digital album. The Texas-native, California-based tenor saxophonist and composer presents his own illuminating vision of the saxophone trio while also inviting, along the way, guest appearances by Joshua Redman (tenor saxophone) and Christian McBride (double bass). Working and touring for the last fifteen years, playing multi-layered compositions in different configurations with artists such as Terence Blanchard, Roy Haynes, Sean Jones, Ambrose Akinmusire and with his own bands, Smith also began to revisit classic jazz songs. He elaborates: I would try and alter tunes quite radically by rearranging, reharmonizing and altering meters to a point where I was barely playing the original song; but realized that I was confusing the point of playing the songs, so I began to interpret them more directly, as they were first meant to be played. For this album, out of around twenty recorded songs, I chose nine pieces that I have a particular relationship with and have always loved playing, including some which are maybe less frequently heard. While that concept appears straightforward, this recording (the saxophonist's fifth as leader) reveals much about the ultra-confidence and musicality which these established players bring to the table, entering the studio to intuitively share ideas and discover uncharted paths.