194

American Roadwork / Sound on Survival Live

By

Sign in to view read count
Lisle Ellis/Marco Eneidi/Peter Valsamis
American Roadwork
CIMP
2004

According to Robert Rusch's liner notes for American Roadwork, the Sound on Survival trio (alto saxophonist Marco Eneidi, bassist Lisle Ellis and drummer Peter Valsamis) played 21 shows in 21 days and logged an estimated 8,000 miles on the road before going into the Spirit Room for this session. Eneidi's idea was for a ballads album, but Ellis suggested blues music, performed tightly and succinctly in a move away from the suite-length improvisations they had been playing in concert.

The blues is the organizing principle around which these musicians deliver concise, focused statements, like free verse poets who exercise their skills by composing a series of sonnets. Eneidi doesn't have much sweetness in his tone, mostly urgency, so a blues feel comes naturally, especially on the CD's two standout tracks: a cover of "Baby Please Don't Go and the original "Contractual Obligation Blues. Laid back and sinewy, the band performs these tunes with a malevolent seductiveness.

On the up-tempo cuts ("Shock and Awe Shucks, the title track and the three parts of "Dreamt Up Blues ), Eneidi and Ellis chase each other like a pair of pieces on a chess board, with Valsamis playing the part of the board. Ellis proves that the band is as much his as Eneidi's as the bassist delivers a breathtaking symphonic arco solo on "Vienna Blues.


Sound on Survival
Live
Henceforth
2005

Presumably recorded during the tour that led to American Roadwork, in the old days Live would have been a double record set, with performances from Amherst and Philadelphia divided in half. The three parts of "Amherst document the excitement of Eneidi's sustained energy and torrential improvisations over a pumping rhythm section. He revs up then delivers quicksilver arpeggios in short bursts from his horn.

The uninterrupted 40 minutes from Philly is naturally more discursive, featuring Ellis' extended sequence that utilizes electronic treatments and atmospheric effects. When Eneidi returns, he concludes a gorgeous solo passage with sighs, whispers and exhalations. Live runs the risk of testing the patience of a listener who's come to expect the relative brevity captured on CIMP, but the solos always move the performances forward. Taken together, both discs give a complete view of a trio working on all cylinders.


Tracks and Personnel

American Roadwork

Tracks: Baby, Please Don't Go; Dreamt Up Blues #6 Pt.2; News Blues; Contractual Obligation Blues; Shock and Awe Shucks; Dreamt Up Blues #3; American Roadwork; Dreamt Up Blues #6 Pt.1; Dreamt Up Blues #5; Nine; Vienna Blues; Short & Clean

Personnel: Lisle Ellis, bass; Marco Eneidi, alto saxophone; Peter Valsamis, drums.

Sound on Survival Live

Tracks: Amherst 1-3; Philadelphia

Personnel: Lisle Ellis, bass; Marco Eneidi, alto saxophone; Peter Valsamis, drums.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues Multiple Reviews Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2017
Read The Narell Brothers: Steelpan Music Merchants Multiple Reviews The Narell Brothers: Steelpan Music Merchants
by Nigel Campbell
Published: September 9, 2017
Read Emanem Releases New Music From Late, Great Heroes Lacy And Rutherford Multiple Reviews Emanem Releases New Music From Late, Great Heroes Lacy And...
by John Eyles
Published: September 8, 2017
Read Of Stories, Songs, and Self: Fred Hersch's Good Things Happen Slowly & Open Book Multiple Reviews Of Stories, Songs, and Self: Fred Hersch's Good Things...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio Multiple Reviews The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 12, 2017
Read Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment Multiple Reviews Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 2, 2017
Read "Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment" Multiple Reviews Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 2, 2017
Read "Mysteries Of The Deep and Binary from Brian (Shankar) Adler" Multiple Reviews Mysteries Of The Deep and Binary from Brian (Shankar) Adler
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Emanem Tidies Up" Multiple Reviews Emanem Tidies Up
by John Eyles
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "Three saxophonists very different paths since "Propagations"" Multiple Reviews Three saxophonists very different paths since...
by John Eyles
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights" Multiple Reviews 440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Green Mountain Jazz" Multiple Reviews Green Mountain Jazz
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.