Drumless jazz trios are not new. Nat King Cole and Art Tatum are just two earlier examples.
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Easy one: it's because you are not running fully balanced. The percussion section was actually recorded, but oddly enough your single ended system is only reproducing the common mode signal, which includes only the vocal and acoustic bass tracks.
It's that OR your cardas cables are so warm they are squashing the percussive dynamics.
Great detective work, and enjoy your system!