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The Mark Lomax Trio: The State Of Black America (2010)

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The Mark Lomax Trio: The State Of Black America How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Drummer/composer/band leader Mark Lomax must not be afraid of ghosts. Because with all the spirits hovering over his recording The State Of Black America, it would be understandable that he and his band of saxophonist Edwin Bayard and bassist Dean Hulett might be a bit intimidated to bridge the firebrand music of the 1960s from today's world. To get there they were obliged to walk the roads traveled by John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
, Albert Ayler
Albert Ayler
Albert Ayler
1936 - 1970
sax, tenor
, Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
b.1930
saxophone
, John Tchicai
John Tchicai
John Tchicai
1936 - 2012
saxophone
and Archie Shepp
Archie Shepp
Archie Shepp
b.1937
saxophone
.

That's a journey few bands are willing to embark on these days, casually remarking, "its been done before." Audacious music such as these tracks written and performed here by Lomax are capable of getting one's band laughed off a bandstand. No laughing here, as the trio has plenty of bite to go with its bark.

From the first drum roll the band drops into a heavy groove, Lomax with a constant muscular pulse that launches Bayard into interstellar space in "Stuck In A Rut." The outwardness is tempered by an athletic blues feel. By the time the band gives way to Hulett's bass solo, recalling Jimmy Garrison

Jimmy Garrison
Jimmy Garrison
1934 - 1976
bass, acoustic
, the perspiration is apparent.

Likewise, "To Know God Is To Know Thyself" is marked by its firebrand nature, calling forth the late-Coltrane and Rashied Ali

Rashied Ali
Rashied Ali
1935 - 2009
drums
dynamism. The task they perform is above reproach, burning through this energy jazz piece, each player standing his ground to deliver an unflinching tour de force.

The credence of this recording comes from the slower and gentler ballads and blues. "The Unknown Self" nudges the poetry of Lomax with an insistent confidence underscored by Hulett's earnest solo. The ending piece, the downtempo "Blues For Charles (Who Split B4 The Butterfly Flew In)" is apt to take the breath away with its lubricious mood. Bayard gives one of those soulful Coleman Hawkins
Coleman Hawkins
Coleman Hawkins
1904 - 1969
sax, tenor
performances that lingers long past the end of the track.


Track Listing: Stuck In A Rut; The Unknown Self; The Power Of Knowing; To Know God Is To Know Thyself; Blues For Charles (Who Split B4 The Butterfly Flew In).

Personnel: Mark Lomax: drums; Edwin Bayard: tenor saxophone; Dean Hulett: bass.

Record Label: Inarhyme Records, LLC

Style: Modern Jazz


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