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John Schott: Actual Trio

Glenn Astarita By

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Track review of "Hemophilia (For James "Blood" Ulmer)"

San Francisco Bay Area guitarist John Schott presents the debut recording of his long-running jazz trio, and third album for New York City-based producer, composer and saxophonist John Zorn's Tzadik record label. As expected, Schott doesn't solely adhere to the tried and true within the jazz guitar trio format. It's not too radical, but not an album constructed on worn out jazz or pop standards.

It's easy to detect the intra-group communication taking place, led by the leader's broad musical vernacular designed with understated melodies and alternating patterns. The musicians fuse blissful movements with soul-blues inferences and roomy arrangements, often touched with searching attributes and the leader's funky breakouts. They also intertwine pumping grooves with swing pulses and off-kilter paradigm shifts.

"Hemophilia (For James "Blood" Ulmer) is seemingly inspired by the idiosyncratic blues, funk and jazz guitarist who put in some quality time with Ornette Coleman before launching a fertile solo career in the early 80s. Yet this piece is centered on a punchy dub groove as the trio's sensitivity is inherent amid bassist Dan Seaman's opening arco notes leading to a driving beat, tastefully executed by drummer John Hanes. Moreover, Schott locks into a fertile improv vehicle atop a punchy beat and a subtle melodic hook, shrewdly juxtaposed by Seaman's contrapuntal melodic responses. The guitarist's capacious developments, ringing harmonics and animated phrasings interweave the jazz and dub element with a personalized trio focused insignia, tinted with quaint delicacies and ethereal hues.

Track Listing:

Personnel: John Schott: guitar; Dan Seamans: bass; John Hanes: drums.

Title: Actual Trio | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Tzadik

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