Larry Goldings, Peter Bernstein and Bill Stewart celebrate 30 years as trio with Perpetual Pendulum

You don’t often see the same group of musicians consistently recording together for decades. But that’s the case with organist Larry Goldings, guitarist Peter Bernstein, and drummer Bill Stewart, who are celebrating more than 30 years as a trio with their latest album Perpetual Pendulum.

Perpetual Pendulum was recorded in July of 2021 at New York’s Sear Sound, a studio with which the trio also shares a storied history dating back to their second recording together, Light Blue, released in 1992. The session also fell on the 30th anniversary of the release of their debut, Larry Goldings’ 1991 album The Intimacy of the Blues.

The origin of their trio makes the release of Perpetual Pendulum on Smoke Sessions particularly significant. Smoke Jazz & Supper Club, the label’s parent venue, was opened on the former site of Augie’s Jazz Bar, where Goldings, Bernstein and Stewart established their rapport on a regular Thursday night gig beginning in 1989.

“Thirty-plus years is definitely a milestone,” Bernstein says. “Especially when you consider it in light of jazz history. It’s trippy to think about, but that’s equivalent to keeping a band together from 1940 to 1970. If you think about how short a time so many of our musical heroes were even active, let alone have a group together — I mean, the classic Coltrane quartet was only together for about four years. So it is pretty significant.”

Watch a video trailer for the album below.

Perpetual Pendulum features the trio’s take on standards as well as original compositions that are significant to their history. This includes John Lewis’s Django and Wayne Shorter’s United, tunes that have become mainstays in their sets together. Duke Ellington’s Reflections in D and Gary Bartz’s Libra are also included. Bernstein offers two original compositions: Little Green Men (from Light Blue) and the album’s title track.

Altogether, Perpetual Pendulum offers a vivid sonic expression of Goldings, Bernstein and Stewart’s longstanding chemistry and history as a group.

“I think we all share a pure feeling of gratitude,” says Bernstein. “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.”

Here’s the track listing:

  1. United
  2. Let’s Get Lots
  3. Libra
  4. Prelude
  5. FU Donald
  6. Come Rain or Come Shine
  7. Little Green Men
  8. Reflections in D
  9. Perpetual Pendulum
  10. Lurkers
  11. Django

Perpetual Pendulum is out March 25 via Smoke Sessions.