The creative jazz trio Tigersmilk makes improvised music that not only tastes good, it might even be good for you.
The significant attraction here is cornetist Rob Mazurek of Chicago Underground, Isotope 217, and Brokeback. Mazurek’s latest disc Silver Spines (Delmark 2002) is a solo effort that comes off as less than inspiring. He needs the kind of interaction he has had with the likes of Jeff Parker and Chad Taylor.
The good part (for you) is the trio. They share equally in this outing. Drummer Dylan van der Schyff (Talking Pictures, John Butcher, Francois Houle) and bassist Jason Roebke (Fred Lonberg- Holm, Scott Fields) balance the music-making with like sensibilities. Mazurek applies minimal electronic processing here and there, mostly sticking to a muted cornet throughout. His tone recalls Miles Davis’s Prestige sessions series of Workin’, Cookin’, Relaxin’ where the intro and outtake snippets were the recorded gems. On other parts he mixes apparent realtime electronic effects behind his partners. This in no way is a cornet-dominated outing. Tigersmilk works its way through multiple percussive effects and bowed bass. Roebke’s bass solos, especially on “Long, Past, Time” are forceful and satisfying.
Tigersmilk is deftly recorded to bring forth the textures of the trio's playing. Whether van der Schyff is playing with sticks, bell, or chains each motion is centered in the mix for a very tactile listening experience. Even the electronics jump. Recorded improvised music rarely has the ease of accessibility that marks this recording. And that, is indeed good for you.
Personnel: Rob Mazurek - Cornet, Electronics; Jason Roebke - Acoustic Bass; Dylan van der Schyff.