John Zorn / George Lewis / Bill Frisell: More News For Lulu (2010)
More News For Lulu was this trio's second album and, despite being recorded in 1989 and originally released on hatOLOGY Records (the father label to HatHut Records) in 1992, its crisp attack and buoyant execution holds up rather immaculately with this overdue reissue. A hybrid studio/live program, the artists effortlessly work through bop, and swing motifs with slight nods to abstract expressionism in choice spots. And the overall dynamic is abetted by the record label's pristine audio processing.
The musicians perform compositions by pianist Sonny Clark, saxophonist Hank Mobley, trumpeter Kenny Dorham and pianist Freddie Redd. Guitarist Bill Frisell employs his infamous volume control techniques to generate a wave of harmonic delights, amid trombonist George Lewis and alto saxophonist John Zorn's complex horn charts and intertwining dialogues. Frisell often serves as the bridge between the horn players, despite the threesome rendering picture-perfect unison phrasings with the precision of a little big band. Each piece offers a contrasting perspective, via spirited soloing jaunts and cunning spins on familiar turf.
On Freddie Redd's "Ole,'" Lewis and Zorn generate a stately, classical underpinning, and then place matters into overdrive to complement Frisell's pastoral treatments. The band closes the festivities with a bang during Sonny Clark's "Melody for C," executing an inventive and radiant bop groove and accentuating the cheery melody. In other regions of sound and scope, the trio touches upon chamber-jazz, yet predominately abides by a progressive mainstream outlook to complement a musical atmosphere that bespeaks the utmost in musical camaraderie. And while these stylists are well-known for their avant tendencies, this outing transmits a rather globalor all-encompassingviewpoint of jazz music for the new age.
Track Listing: Blue Minor I; Hank's Other Tune; News For Lulu; Gare Guillemins; Minor Swing; KD's Motion/Windmill; Funk In A Deep Freeze; Eastern Incident; Lotus Blossom; Melanie; Olé; Blue Minor II; Peckin' Time; Blues, Blues, Blues; Melody For C.
Personnel: John Zorn: alto saxophone; George Lewis: trombone; Bill Frisell: guitar.