Rob Wagner / Hamid Drake / Nobu Ozaki: Trio (2007)
Wagner benefits from all-world drummer Drake's polyrhythmic force and strict attention to nuance and pitch. Here, the multi-reedman's whirling and hypnotic patterns convey his persuasive improvisational faculties. Wagner delves into variable modal exercises amid mood-evoking passages and animated lyricism. On many of these works, the trio's groove-laden jaunts are designed upon bustling pulses and periods of introspection. Wagner is apt to soar skyward via fiery outbursts, where the rhythm section readily ventures into a certain groove or motif. Ultimately, the artist's music is built upon structural components that offer a wide-open improvisational base.
The saxophonist executes a linearly devised and memorable theme during "Penumbra, as Ozaki and Drake alter the pitch and tempo for an anthem-like sojourn. Nonetheless, Wagner's latest trio date projects an all-telling portraiture of a New Orleans musical mind that signifies a potent and distinct alternative to the City's traditional jazz legacy.
Track Listing: Desoparia (They handed out $12 billion cash in Iraq and couldn't even give New Orleans drinking water); Plutino; Where Is Home?; Shock, Awe, Sham, Shame; Childhood Memory; La Madrugada; Freedumb (Aren't you glad to vote in America?); Penumbria.
Personnel: Rob Wagner: clarinet, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Hamid Drake: drum kit, frame drum; Nobu Ozaki: bass.
Record Label: Valid Records
Style: Modern Jazz