Magic: Joe McPhee with Trio X and Mikolaj Trzaska at Firehouse 12 in New Haven
McPhee is always McPhee, so strong, so humble, so loving, so egalitarian, and totally in control of whatever instrument he chooses to play (the pocket trumpet, in addition to reeds). While playing soprano in the first set, he took a small lead at one point. His improvisation was swinging, circular yet progressive, singing a coherent tune. His sound was packed with both musical and emotional content, and his versatility and elegance augmented the transmission of nothing but joy. He caressed the music like a lover; he painted it with the expressionistic and romantic gestures of an artist.
And though he appeared in the guise of a musician, McPhee was the magician. There certainly was no denying that he had pulled a couple of rabbits out of his hat by putting his Trio and Trzaska together. An alchemy more than justifying the leader's designation of the group's name: "Magic." In fact, the trick proved nothing less than a fairy-tale come true.
Vist Joe McPhee on the web.
Visit Trio X on the web.