Tom Garvin is best known as a first-call accompanist for singers, but he is at his most creative leading a trio. A melodic and inventive player, Garvin favors long-lined solos–he often continues a thread over several choruses. He likes to interrupt himself suddenly with a seemingly unrelated aside before continuing his thread. He builds tension by lagging behind the beat, sometimes holding onto his notes too long, sometimes going several bars without catching up.
His ideas are fresh and unpredictable, and swing (the continually evolving variety) is never a problem. Much of his repertoire comes from the Bill Evans book. He treated Like Someone in Love as a loping, understated tango, and instead of lapsing into a comfortable 4/4 he stayed with the tango for blowing. Nardis recalled the open feel of the Evans’ version with Garvin carrying on for some steamy choruses. Garvin told a number of stories during the most intense tune of the evening, the ballad Never Let Me Go.