cover_enchantressEnchantress (1996)

His first album in 15 years, Enchantress found John Serry playing the acoustic piano exclusively without becoming a purist or forgetting about the electric fusion that had excited him in the 1970s. Essentially, this is an acoustic date — its only electric instrument is Tom Brigandi’s electric bass. But even so, subtle traces of Return to Forever and Weather Report make their way to this diverse CD, which also illustrates Serry’s love of the acoustic work of Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock and RTF leader Chick Corea. Enchantress is far from predictable; the disc starts out on a lighthearted, congenial note with the Vince Guaraldi-ish “Dyt It” before becoming more cerebral and abstract on “Free Hand” and “Heartfelt” and very impressionistic on “The Image.” One could term this session acoustic post-bop with fusion and electric references, but however one describes Enchantress, its excellence made it clear that Serry (who is also joined by saxmen Gerry Niewood and Ralph Bowen and drummer John Riley) was someone labels should have been paying a lot more attention to.

––Alex Henderson

John Serry: piano / composer
Gerry Niewood: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute
Ralph Bowen: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone (on Enchantress, Free Hand and Dance One)
Tom Brigandi: acoustic bass, electric bass
John Riley: drums

Serry’s fleet fingered runs on songs like the jaunty catchy “Dyt It” are both technically impressive and subtle. His ballads are equally disarming… “Heartfelt” is warm and resonant… Listen and prepare to be enchanted.