Friday, February 8, 2013
3 X 3 (February 2013)
Why? Because this music, like Mr. Shorter's, is alive with possibilities, with intelligent interplay, and open-ended conversations. Right from the get-go, Altschul, bassist Joe Fonda and tenor saxophonist Jon Irabagon dig into this music with joy and abandon. The splendid recording by Robert Musso at Sears Sound posits the leader's trap set across the spectrum while the bass and saxophone hover in the middle. This music has humor, nicely displayed on "Martin's Stew" (dedicated to the late drummer Stu Martin) bounces in among a bouncing bowed bass line and a conversation between the sax and drums (nice touch with the police whistle and other assorted toys. "Papa's Funkish Dance" has appeared on previous recordings under the name "For Papa Jo, Klook and Philly Too", a dedication to 3 of Altschul's drum heroes (Jo Jones, Kenny Clarke and ""Philly" Joe Jones) - here, however, the emphasis is on the "funk" and the "fun", Irabagon clucking and squealing while the leader and bassist lay down a wicked beat. Altschul, who has traveled the world playing in all shapes of aggregations, picked up the rhythmic impulses for "Oops" in Mali while watching a camel walking. Fonda's bass lines serve as a foundation for the exciting drum dances and Irabagon's braying tenor.
There are several handsome ballads, including "Just a Simple Song" (composed for a live recording by the FAB Trio - Fonda, Altschul and the late Billy Bang) and "Irina", first composed for the Brahma Trio of Altschul, Ray Anderson and Mark Helias.) The former tune may have a "simple" melody line but the musicians really dig in to the piece, Fonda's full-toned bass lines and Altschul's active brush work giving the saxophonist a platform for a very emotional solo. The latter piece finds each member of the Trio stating the melody (yes, even Altschul, at times) before Irabagon delivers another emotionally-charged solo and Fonda plays yet another fine melodic solo. I've known the bassist for nearly 4 decades and can honestly state his playing continues to grow and impress.
"The 3Dom Factor" is a welcome return for Barry Altschul, a musician ho has worked with Anthony Braxtom, Chick Corea, Sam Rivers, Dave Holland, Paul Bley, Roswell Rudd, Julius Hemphill and many others. If you enjoy music that is serious fun, played by musicians who listen and respond with originality and wit, this CD belongs in your house. For more information, go to www.tumrecords.com. If you have yet to check out Harris Eisenstadt's comprehensive 3-part interview at Destination: OUT, go directly to destination-out.com and dig in!
"Powers" mashes jazz, rock, blues-rock and more into an enjoyable sound "stew" - Anders and Peter Nilsson are both young veterans who have played jazz and rock in their native Sweden. Anders has been based in New York City for the past 12 years, playing with bassists William Parker and Ken Filiano plus collaborating with vocalist Fay Victor. Joe Fonda continues to be a major presence on the creative music scene, both in the US and abroad, creating music that holds to no one genre but is always exploratory and moving forward. This trio has great potential and this CD is a smashing introduction. For more information, go to www.andersnilssonguitar.com.
"Sky Bleached" is an excellent recording, sounding quite impressive as it blasts from the speakers, shaking the walls and floors with a delightful sonic anarchy. As a person who grew up in the era of rock guitar experimentation (the afore-mentioned Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Robert Fripp), Dylan Ryan/Sand has a strong appeal - yet, one can not and should not ignore the jazz feel that infuses this session. Highly recommended! For more information, go to www.dylanryanmusic.com.