McCook Daily Gazette McCook, Nebraska--Wed.--Oct. 18, 1997
By Jon Wacker
Listening to the Tom Prin Trio is like wearing your favorite pair of slippers. It is really comfortable and just makes you feel good.
The first concert of the 1997-98 McCook Concert Association season featured a jazz performance by the Tom Prin Trio at the McCook City Auditorium.
Prin's piano playing was accompanied by Bruce Calin on acoustic bass and Bruce Wintervold on drums. The group presented a variety of familiar jazz and popular music in several different styles, demonstrating what a wide range of sounds can be produced with a simple orchestration. Throughout the show, the balance was just right, which is a treat these days when often the only balance some groups achieve comes from a mixing board.
The trio opened with a classic jazz treatment of "Sweet Georgia Brown," improvising several variations on the melody and each musician taking a solo. Other pieces given this treatment were Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek" and Duke Ellington's "Take The A Train." Two other classic tunes the group played were "Up A Lazy River" which was given a latin beat and a medley of Dave Brubeck's songs.
I had forgotten what a lovely tune Henry Mancini wrote when he composed the soundtrack for The Thornbirds. The bassist played a drone while the pianist presented a simple folk-like arrangement, accompanied by simple percussion. Wintervold's percussion work was always well done and right on target. He used mallets, brushes sticks and even his hands to provide a solid rhythmic background.
Perhaps the real indication of how comfortable this group is with their music and their audience came after intermission when Prin asked for requests. He then sat down and improvised a medley from the requests, with the other two musicians jumping in on several tunes. It was a treat to see this kind of interaction and to appreciate what these musicians were doing for their audience.
Bruce Calin's bass playing was very enjoyable and he put a lot into his accompaniment work. During "Dark Island," a Scottish folk tune, his use of harmonics had a wonderful effect. Tom Prin's piano work was also a pleasure to listen to and to watch.
There were many other highlights to numerous to include here. There were a lot of smiles on faces and a lot of good words heard as people left the concert. This was a great way to begin the concert association year. The Tom Prin Trio gave their audience a solid collection of familiar tunes and great musical talent to remember.
About the reviewer: Jon Wacker serves on the board of the McCook Arts Council, is one of the directors of the McCook Community Chorus and directs the handbell program at Memorial Methodist Church in McCook.
The Daily Reporter --Spencer, Iowa--Feb. 2, 1989
TRIO GETS HIGH MARKS
By Gretchen Hagedorn
When a person needs an evening of easy listening, the Tom PrinTrio fits the assignment. My favorite jazz arrangements of the recent concert were;
Sweet Georgia Brown, Memory from Cats, Medley from Les Miserables, Take The A Train, Brubeck Medley and Up A Lazy river.
These three men compliment each other playing their arrangements of jazz and popular show tunes. Tom Prin is a terrific piano player with very strong hands that flow over the ivories with authority. His fun loving personality showed when he wore bright red argyle socks just to see if anyone noticed.
Bruce Calin, the string bass player, was fantastic. He was very knowledgeable with his technique and it was fun to watch his fingers move so quickly over the strings.
Jack Bertelsen, drummer, added just the impeccable time and taste of percussion work. Jack's smooth and tasteful playing was the backbone of the trio.
Tom Prin asked for requests from the audience. He played our favorites: The Sting; New York, New York; and September Song.
The concert was presented by the Spencer Area Concert Association.
The Weekly Vista--Bella Vista, Arkansas Nov. 18, 2000
TOM PRIN TRIO PERFORMS EXCELLENT CONCERT
By Marilois Bach
The Tom Prin Trio wound up this year's season of the Performing Arts Association series at Riordan Hall recently. The versatile trio delighted the crowd with their interpretations of favorite jazz, contemporary and gospel music. It was not New Orleans jazzÉthey label it "swing" jazz, sweet and gentle.
The three talented men hail from Minnesota, and their jazz is more Guthrie Theatre than Preservation Hall. The man at the keyboard, Tom Prin, is connected with St. Olaf College. Percussionist Bruce Wintervold is part of the Minnesota Orchestra and the University of Minnesota. Bruce Calin, on the bass, added a magic touch to every number. The "hep cats" are all from the north.
The Ellington number was excellent. Gershwin was gorgeous, and "Amazing Grace" was truly amazing. But when the Saints came marching in, it was the New Orleans variety. It was a great show!