. Somehow, in the 1980s and '90s we misplaced him. Actually, he moved to Europe, recording for smaller labels before he quietly returned to the US. Not that the famed drummer from the 1960s bands of pianist Paul Bley
Altschul has found a kindred spirit. The saxophonist executes the intricacies of the title track with ostensible ease. Even when Altschul throws in a tricky start/stop piece like "Be Out S'Cool," Irabagon deals. The pair trades off energy surges while Fonda keeps the piece together. Where another drummer would surrender time to free jazz, Altschul keeps the music rooted between post-bop and free. This is best exemplified on "Natal Chart," a piece that could be mistaken for a Buster Keaton silent movie soundtrack. Altschul balances a circus-like sound, weaving dixieland into Irabagon's free yowls and flutter by changing the time signatures and including a veritable gunny sack of percussive textures.
Bley's "Ictus" is a blistering piece of bebop and perfect vehicle for Altschul, Fonda, and Irabagon to trade solos. They also deliver sobering ballads like "Just A Simple Song" and "Irina," two tracks that showcase a classic passion for storytelling.
Track Listing: The 3dom Factor; Martin´s Stew; Irina; Papa´s Funkish Dance; Be Out S´Cool; Oops;
Simple Song; Ictus; Natal Chart; A Drummer´s Song.
Personnel: Barry Altschul: drums; Jon Irabagon: tenor saxophone; Joe Fonda double: bass.