?Tim Ray's new release Fire & Rain features his jazz piano trio with John Lockwood on bass and Mark Walker on drums. The ensemble showcases their harmonically rich and balanced sound, playing uncommon yet effective choices such as Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments" and Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Mojave," as well as newer material including three original pieces and the collective "Improv #1 (for Chick)." This collection pays tribute to Ray's heroes, including Monk's "Bye-Ya" and Jarrett's "The Windup," while also featuring works by overlooked composers such as Carla Bley and Dave McKenna. The album includes a track from the singer-songwriter genre, James Taylor's iconic "Fire and Rain," which builds to an inexorable group climax. Also in the collection, is a family portrait piece, "The Meeting," alternatively titled "The Jbug and the Kman" and a groovy track called "NO Worries," which has a hint of electric keyboard and New Orleans-style rhythm. Despite the varying moods and themes, the trio's level of creativity never falters, making Fire & Rain "some of the most inspired trio music of what we might call the surround-Covid era." according to Bob Blumenthal in the excellent liner notes.