The three artists featured on this album are among upstate New York's finest musicians and come together to create spontaneous improvisational music in the jazz tradition. They offer an assorted play list of classic and jazz standards mixed with originals by Chuck D'Aloia and David Calarco. Not only is the play list diverse, but so is the playing style. There's a bit of flirtation with avant-garde - - as championed by John Coltrane rather than Ornette Coleman - - on such cuts as "Lyons Main". But they flirt in such a way that allows everyone to enjoy the music and not be put off by the lack of recognizable chord sequences.
Things move back toward the more traditional application of more familiar jazz music principles with a fine rendition of Miles Davis' "Nardis". There's a taste of the blues found with D'Aloia's "Nice Pants" and the guitarist employs a funky sound on "Farm Funk" which has as background sound effects - the mooing, neighing, quacks and cackling of farm denizens. A musical Animal Farm perhaps? Whatever, the bouncy arrangement helps to make these intrusions less gimmickry than they otherwise might sound. The group continues to amaze with its versatility with a modern classical trio approach to "Autumn Leaves" featuring some somber bowed bass by Rich Syracuse and the dexterity of D'Aloia's guitar fingering. At times this tune sounds more like a Beethoven trio sonata than a well-known entry in the Great American Song Book. It's different, but perfectly legitimate and ear catching. Throughout the entire set, David Calarco's drums excel in their timing for inserting punctuation marks at the right points in the performances. Not jolting and jarring, but just the proper emphasis to drive home the point the players are making on each track.
This album is a thought provoking, attention grabbing session which is recommended.
Track Listing: Nardis; Nice Pants; The Vamp; Autumn Leaves; Suspect; Round Midnight; Lyons Main; Growin Pains; Farm Funk; Freeze Frame