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CD/LP/Track Review

Uwe Oberg / Christof Thewes / Michael Griener: Lacy Pool (2009)

By Published: December 7, 2009
Uwe Oberg / Christof Thewes / Michael Griener: Lacy Pool Lacy Pool, by pianist Uwe Oberg, drummer Michael Griener
Michael Griener
Michael Griener
b.1968
drums
, and trombonist Christof Thewes, demonstrates the "circles within a circle" puzzle that mathematicians have riddled over for centuries. The piano covers of soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy
Steve Lacy
Steve Lacy
1934 - 2004
sax, soprano
's compositions were accomplished without the use of a saxophone, much like Lacy's interpretations of Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
1917 - 1982
piano
were made without a piano. Oberg's task of fitting a certain music (that of Lacy) within the circle of this trio, conjures multiple musical circles of jazz history.

The session has the feel of the hard bop cover band News For Lulu (Hatology, 1987) with saxophonist John Zorn

John Zorn
John Zorn
b.1953
sax, alto
, trombonist George Lewis
George Lewis
George Lewis
b.1952
trombone
and guitarist Bill Frisell
Bill Frisell
Bill Frisell
b.1951
guitar
. Freeing the trio of a saxophone allows the music new interpretation, yet retains Lacy's influence.

Lacy's piano-less covers of Monk used the trombone of Roswell Rudd

Roswell Rudd
Roswell Rudd
b.1935
trombone
. Here, Thewes' trombone eschews the precision of a soprano saxophone, taking Lacy's career past Sidney Bechet
Sidney Bechet
Sidney Bechet
1897 - 1959
sax, soprano
to older Dixielanders. The simplicity of "The Dumps" is at once thoroughly modern, yet could have come from the early 20th century. Their take on "Blinks" reveals Lacy's Monk influence, delivering an angled musical approach with sharp economy of presentation. Same with their expansion of Lacy's "Hemline," into "After Hemline."

The piece begins as an insouciant dance that shifts into an interpretive free duo between the players; Oberg's hands hunt notes, dancing off-camber behind the soaring trombone while Greiner fills the background. Elsewhere they negotiate the herky- jerky "Stamps" with ease; Oberg's piano shifting to a faux-stride before running dense repetitive chords over slurring trombone and drum pillages. The session concludes with the outright funkiness of "Raps," a sort of hard-boiled, detective groove machine, that lingers all the more.

Visit Uwe Oberg, Michael Griener and Christof Thewes on the web.


Track Listing: Stamps; The Crust; Blinks; After Hemline; The Whammies!; Retreat; Raps.

Personnel: Uwe Oberg: piano; Christof Thewes: trombone; Michael Griener: drums.

Record Label: Hatology

Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde



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