Ben Stapp Trio: Ecstasis (2008)
Contrasts and contrapuntal movements abound. Stapp conveys startling maturity via his fusion of Far Eastern modal concepts and other stylizations with progressive jazz frameworks. He drives the variable flows while pumping up the undertow with percussion master Takeishi. And with Malaby's commanding presence, the trio whirls through complex unison lines where it seamlessly morphs a cavalcade of sharp-witted notions into a singular group sound.
Stapp possesses a fertile imagination, partly due to his brisk soloing jaunts abetted by extended note choruses and fluid flurries. In effect, the trio can act aggressive while throttling back matters into inward-looking dialogues. They bob, weave and bounce through a program that spurs notions of a get-up-and-go type demeanor. On "Once In Evora," Takeishi slaps, dabs and nestles around Stapp's beefy lines, all enhanced by Malaby's circular phrasings. The band sets its sights high, yet alters the current during "Power Drop," a composition that intimates an ominous sequence of events. Overall, Stapp's debut is a commendable display of jazz artistry. He's most assuredly one to watch.
Track Listing: Painted Sharks; Machu Picchu; Don't Bop Your Head; Dying Bumble Bees; Once in Evora; Negative Space; Power Drop; Sick Attachment; Forgotten Scream.
Personnel: Benjamin Stapp: tuba; Tony Malaby: tenor and soprano saxophones; Satoshi Takeishi: percussion.
Record Label: UQBAR