This is my second trio CD with Ira Coleman and Peter O'Brien, the first being Down Blue Marlin Road (Sunjump Records), our deconstruction/reconstruction of some of the most often played tunes of the Jazz standard repertoire. We also collaborated on Jeff Marx's Treading Air...Breathing Fire (NaugualRecords) and Mitch Kessler's Erratica (Sunjump Records) and his upcoming new CD Der Erlkönig. Orisha is a collection of 10 original compositions, some new and some old (taken from my archive of unpublished pieces) which I have reworked for this trio. The pieces have composed melodies and predetermined basic chord structures, unlike some of my other recordings, although we often move freely through reharmonizations and shifting rhythmic levels and feels. Ira and Pete generously contributed one solo composition each of their own, although I consider their playing on everything we do as a trio to be so compositional that the pieces I present them with become as much their compositions as mine. I particularly enjoy experiencing their different interpretations of what playing 4/4 can mean. Mockingbird, Dreams and Personal Blues are three markedly different takes on what uptempo swing can be. As capable they both are of playing the traditional Jazz piano trio formats, on this one I avoided trading fours or eights, shout choruses and other tried and true piano trio techniques (which I love) and let the energy go where it wanted. Drum and bass solos appear unadorned by arranged backgrounds and the CD opens with the title track in the midst of a drum barrage and ends (or doesn't end) with a different version of the opening track. I always feel fortunate to play with Ira and Pete, who are both remarkable for their creativity, skills, humility, humor and range of experience (Ira with Betty Carter, Ulf Wakenius,Freddie Hubbard, Joanne Brackeen, Joe Chambers, Monty Alexander, Tony Williams, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Herbie Hancock, Baaba Maal, Laurent De Wilde, Kathleen Battle and Sting; Pete with Mose Allison, Hubert Laws, Warren Bernhardt, Pete Levin, Walter Bishop Jr., Mike Manieri, Rory Block, Brother Jack McDuff, Nick Brignola, J. R. Montrose, Brubeck Brothers, Jonell Mosser, Roy Buchanan, Tracy Nelson, Murali Coryell, Orleans, Jack DeJohnette, Eric Person, Kenny Drew Jr., Dr. Lonnie Smith, John Hall, Edgar Winter Band, Dave Kikoski, Jayna Nelson and Pete Yellin); so I always feel challenged by the prospect of coming up with some music they might find interesting to play, while feeling sure that whatever I bring, I won't have to say much to direct the music. I could not ask for more from creative partners. With these collaborators the Spirits descend and the music ascends and plays itself. They have my unending gratitude. - John Esposito.