Three more albums which feature guitars in different settings are featured in this post––each one has its own strengths and should interest the curious listener.
Will Vinson (saxophones, electric piano), Gilad Hekselman (guitars), and Antonio Sanchez (drums) have created an album for Whirlwind Recordings with the punning title Trio Grande. All three have crossed borders to make New York City their base with Vinson coming from Great Britain, Hekselman from Israel, and Sanchez from Mexico. They are at the top of their game; this album illustrates how each brings different styles and how they have so much fun "playing" with melody, sound, dynamics, and more.
Even though there is no bassist, the first sounds one hears is the keyboard bass on the drummer's "Northbound". The feel and sound of the piece may remind some of Marc Johnson's Bass Desires but with a soprano sax in place of one of the guitars in that group. The joy is in the interplay, the chuckling as well as expansive playing of Hekselman juxtaposed with Sanchez's dancing drums. The opening moment of the guitarist's "Elli Yeled Tov" (Good boy, Elli) sound like a piece by Lionel Loueke, especially the tone of the guitar. Again, it's Sanchez playful drums that capture one's attention as does Vinson's delightful alto sax solo. Vinson's "Oberkampf" is a melancholy ballad with the feel of a Joni Mitchell piece. The soprano sax solo near the end of the piece has a more optimistic feel, lifting the energy of all involved.
"Trio Grande" closes with the guitarist's "Will You Let It", a lovely ballad with an emotional melody, a splendid guitar solo which has a touch of Bill Frisell in Hekselman's solo. The sparkling cymbal work surrounds the other instruments with a glowing effect. The really fine aspect of this album from Will Vinson, Gilad Hekselman, and Antonio Sanchez is that the music defies categorization––is it Americana, jazz, rock or is it all that and more? Go with the latter and just listen and enjoy!
For more information and to purchase the album, go to https://triogrande-whirlwind.bandcamp.com/album/trio-grande.
Drummer John Hanrahan (born December 9, 1966–two years to the day that the Coltrane Quartet recorded the album) had interviewed the group's drummer Elvin Jones in 2003 who led him to Ashley Kahn's incisive history of the album. That whetted the younger drummer's appetite and when he moved back to Chicago, he formed A Love Supreme Quartet. In 2017, Hanrahan met guitarist and conceptualist Henry Kaiser who introduced the drummer to Coltrane's 1966 album "Meditations" which many people, including the guitarist, feel is the "spiritual follow-up" to "A Love Supreme." The newer Lp, recorded nearly a year to the day after "...Supreme", added the musical voices of saxophonist Pharoah Sanders and drummer Rashied Ali to the Quartet––the sessions would the last time Coltrane recorded with Elvin Jones and pianist McCoy Tyner.