Rob Brown Trio: Live at Firehouse 12 (2009)
Nothing could be further from Little Huey than Brown's Sounds trio (with Daniel Levin on cello and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi). Brown's band mates are masters of small gestures, which make their virtuosic flourishes all the more dramatic. Recorded live at Firehouse 12 in New Haven, Connecticut, Brown's tone is forceful and controlled even when his energy sends him on the attack. Takeishi rattles his bones and his drums can sound flat and arid, but they can also roll and tumble like a sack of oranges that has been spilled down a grassy hill. At the center of the triangle is Levin, plucking the strings on his cello, as stalwart as any double-bass; plinking the strings in out-of-time duet with Takeishi or sawing the strings in screeching support of Brown's alto.
Comprised of four Brown originals, the opening "Quick Be Nimble" establishes the trio's interaction and individual dexterity, while the longer and discursive "Walkabout" demonstrates the band's rhythmic abilities. "On a Lark" is their most outside piece, moving from quiet introspection to effusive expressiveness, and "Stray(horn)" refers to Billy's famous Duke Ellingtonian ballads while making a convincing case for a treatment of Brown's compositions on a larger scale.
Track Listing: Quick Be Nimble; Walkabout; On a Lark; Stray(horn).
Personnel: Rob Brown: alto saxophone; Daniel Levin: cello; Satoshi Takeishi: percussion.
Record Label: NotTwo Records
Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde