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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Trio X: Live in Vilnius

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It's been a decade since Trio X--reedman and cornetist Joe McPhee, drummer Jay Rosen and bassist Dominic Duval--released their debut, Watermelon Suite (CIMP, 1999). Though all three members of the trio are among the busiest improvising composers on the planet, that fact does nothing to diminish the empathy on which each Trio X recording is based. Their 2006 US tour was recently documented in a lavish seven-disc boxed set on CIMPoL. In March of that year, they toured Eastern Europe and in addition to a DVD documentary on CIMP, The Train and the River (2007), their concert in Vilnius, Lithuania ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Trio X: Roulette @ Location One

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Trio X continues its increasingly longstanding tradition of meditative fire music with this stridently contemplative March 2006 live date. Not so much a series of pieces as a collective meditation on Black music and its history, the album is a palimpsest, bringing together various eras and styles in front of an enthusiastic audience. “My Funny Valentine, for example, is heavily laden with history on both sides of the color line and the Trio X version manages to pay homage while making the theme its own; the term “theme is chosen very deliberately, because there are really no ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

The Train & The River: A Musical Odyssey with Trio X

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Trio X The Train and the River: A Musical Odyssey C.I.M.P. View 2007

Too few musicians in the past have been able to tell their own personal stories. It has been up to historians and critics to do the work of “educating (sometimes inaccurately) the public about the music that is seemingly less than accessible, but for the musician the most real. Fortunately, present-day technology affords musicians the opportunity to widely disseminate their own self-portraits. And The Train & The River, filmed in Vilnius, Lithuania in 2006, provides such a portrait, documenting ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Trio X: Joe McPhee, Dominic Duval, Jay Rosen: Moods: Playing with the Elements

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I'll bet anyone $50 that the wonderful multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee could play beautifully on an old length of PVC pipe. Any takers? You'd lose. I've seen him do it, and there were at least thirty other witnesses. Neither PVC nor any other sort of plumbing material is listed on this Trio X release, and silver-haired tunes like “Stella by Starlight appear in the track list, but don't worry, this is no standard issue jazz CD. It's what you'd expect--including the surprises--from McPhee and his first-rate associates. McPhee is best known as a pocket trumpeter and he employs ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Trio X: Moods: Playing with the Elements

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Recorded the day following Trio X's last release, The Sugar Hill Suite (CIMP, 2005), this new disc is both companion session and departure. That earlier date spent substantial space ruminating on the history and cultural legacy of the named Harlem neighborhood, and the music ended up less overtly incendiary as a result. This one aligns more with the band ethos established by the bulk of its catalog, emphasizing potent collective improvisation and a fair share of free jazz fireworks. Deviating from past efforts, McPhee chooses to devote a substantial portion of the program to showcasing his brass instruments. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

trio x 3: New Jazz Meeting Baden-Baden 2002

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The integration of electronics with improvised music is nothing new; from outward reaching projects including Evan Parker’s Electro-Acoustic Ensemble to more accessible works including Dave Douglas’ Freak In , artists are exploring the sonic landscapes made possible by such marriages. Integration of electronics with new music is also not unheard of. But by wedding a trio of electronic musicians with a trio of inventive improvisers and a trio of new music performers, what Southwest German Radio (SWR) has done with New Jazz Meeting is create a new space where the possibilities of each genre are expanded, and the limitations eliminated. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Trio X: On Tour

This is the third release by Joe McPhee, Dominic Duval and Jay Rosen, three virtuosi known collectively as Trio X. It was recorded live in March this year and must set a record for hitting the streets so quickly – all kudos to Cadence Jazz Records. Like previous releases by the group it is an intriguing blend of the lyrical, whether composed or extemporised, and the abstract. Where it differs is in the relationship with the American songbook – this time out we hear ‘My Funny Valentine’, and ‘Send In The Clowns’, as well as ‘Blue Monk’ and more unusually ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe McPhee/Dominic Duval/ Jay Rosen: Trio X: Rapture

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Back in the early days of free jazz improvisation many musicians who chose to play multiple instruments were singled out as scapegoats by critics interested in discrediting the music. The logic (or illogic) behind these naysayers’ arguments posited that a division of energy and focus between instruments would necessarily result in decreased proficiency. Many of the music’s detractors claimed that the new sounds being explored by these musicians were the direct result of such assumed deficiency. Legends like Roland Kirk and Eric Dolphy were among the players who came under repeated fire and if Joe McPhee had been counted in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe McPhee/Dominic Duval/Jay Rosen: Trio X: The Watermelon Suite

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This magnificent session is perhaps most unusual for McPhee’s decision to stick to only one the reeds in his bulging bag of instruments throughout its entire duration. Though he limits solely to soprano his creative muse isn’t compromised in the least thanks both to his own inventive genius and that of his able associates. “Points” is a little jumbled and sounds like the players are getting their bearings for the anatomical suite to follow on which Rosen sits out as an observer. According to Rusch’s liner notes he literally placed a watermelon in front of the two remaining improvisers and ...



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