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Tim Daisy: A Fine Day In Berlin

Mark Corroto By

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Blender drinks sometimes disguise their ingredients. A little peanut butter and banana tossed into your kale and spinach smoothie might provide just the right flavor camouflage. Likewise, adding drummer Tim Daisy 99 (and his compositions) into a piano trio recording will produce results that are anything but standard trio fare.

Daisy, one of Chicago's go-to drummers for the past decade can be heard in duo with Ken Vandermark and in his bands Made To Break, The Margots, and Topology Nonet. He also works in Dave Rempis' Percussion Quartet and The Engines, plus is a member of James Falzone's Klang and Vox Arcana, and Marc Riordan's Trio. His influence is also heard in European circles recording with Resonance Ensemble, Mikolaj Trzaska's Inner Ear, Hans-Peter Pfammatter, and Waclaw Zimpel.

A Fine Day In Berlin finds Daisy in the company of Norwegian pianist Håvard Wiik and Australian bassist Clayton Thomas. Their 'piano trio' might be marked with an asterisk, as it often functions here as a percussion trio and a minimalist improvising group; it often disguises its ingredients.

Thomas is a member of The Ames Room, a trio with saxophonist Jean-Luc Guionnet and drummer Will Guthrie. Wiik's piano, heard in the bands Atomic, Freefall, and Side A, can be lyrically beautiful or jaggedly emotional. Here, with Daisy coaxing nonlinear passages from the pianist, he responds with percussive runs, shimmering bells, and pounded block chords. The pieces, all lengthy, ebb and flow between meditative references, echoing experiments in percussive attack, and high speed improvisation. The disc is both densely packed and sparsely presented. Maybe that's what you get when you mix a Chicago sound into a European environment.

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