Drummer Tony Bianco’s resume reads like a laundry list of disparate musical talent. Here’s a man who has performed with rock and rollers Chuck Berry and Edgar Winter, modern jazz bassist Reggie Workman, saxophonist Dave Liebman and many others. However with this release, the drummer along with tenor saxophone titans Paul Dunmall and Simon Picard derive inspiration from John Coltrane’s free-style explorations
Tony Bianco’s “Utoma Trio” is all about raw firepower and unrelenting energetic spirit! The first piece, “Oceans In Space” presents the listener with twenty-five minutes of viscous soloing and scintillating improvisational speak, thanks to the stylistic inventions of the saxophonists who exhibit intuitive call and response dialogue at an often-torrid pace while the leader provides a mini-clinic on the art of free-jazz drumming. Throughout, Bianco renders a rock solid and changeable pulse yet multitasks his rhythmic inclinations while pushing and prodding the dynamic twin sax attack into uncharted regions of sound; although the band alters the momentum with poignant lyricism and effective use of space on “Labyrinths”. The tumultuous choruses continue on the final piece, “White Eagle” as the musicians exhibit unimaginable stamina in concert with climactic developments, cunning interaction and the soloist’s faint injections of melody and meticulously constructed fabrics of sound. Hence, a mind-blowing modern jazz/improvisational extravaganza it is! Strongly recommended.
* * * * ½ (Out of * * * * *)
Personnel: Tony Bianco; drums: Paul Dunmall; tenor saxophone (left channel): Simon Picard; tenor saxophone (right channel).