Tom Rainey Trio: Camino Cielo Echo (2012)
For its second outing, drummer Tom Rainey's trio establishes itself as a commanding representative of the latest direction in pioneering jazz. By creating (more like co-creating) music with two of today's in-demand playersguitarist Mary Halvorson and saxophonist Ingrid LaubrockRainey continues his streak of outings with vanguard players.
The drummer has been heard in cutting-edge bands since the 1990s, led by such esteemed avant-garde players as saxophonists Tim Berne and Tony Malaby, guitarists Nels Cline and David Torn, and bassist Mark Helias. But he is also heard in more traditional settings, playing with the likes of pianists Fred Hersch and Kenny Werner.
Camino Cielo Echo follows the trio's debut Pool School (Clean Feed, 2010). What felt like a one-off assembly the first time around, gels here into a solid working ensemble.
The session sprouts in various directions, from the noisy thrashing of punk jazz to the almost ambient explorations of minimalism. Rainey spreads the composing duties between the three, but they seem to write with the same voice in mind.
If sequencing an album is of any import these days, this disc begins with a statement of purpose. "Expectation Of Exception" picks up momentum, with Rainey applying loose- limb drips and drops of drumming while Laubrock and Halvorson exercise their signature sounds. The guitarist winds through varying pitches and runs that are applied against the saxophonist's breathy extended technique. Halvorson can morph her guitar into a sci-fi synthesizer or effortlessly toss off some Derek Bailey scrambled eggs.
Not in the mood for chary music making? The trio tears down the walls on "Mullet Toss," "Two Worlds," and "Fluster"a thumping kick-drum exercise in shredded guitar and hoots and hollering saxophone. Where the freedom allowed here by Rainey ramps up the energy, it also settles into some very satisfying meditative tracks. The trio's simpatico nature eschews hostility for harmony, creating a new path to group interaction.
Track Listing: Expectation Of Exception; Mullet Toss; Mr And Mrs Mundane; Corporal Fusion; Arroyo Burrow; Strada Senza Nome; A Third Line Into Little Miss Strange; Leapfrog; Camino Cielo Echo; Fluster; Mental Stencil; Two Words; June.
Personnel: Tom Rainey: drums; Ingrid Laubrock: saxophones; Mary Halvorson: guitar.