3

Borderlands Trio: Asteroidea

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
I'll venture a guess that the listing of the names on Borderlands Trio's cover is arranged in alphabetic order, Crump, Davis, then McPherson. That is because nothing in the performance reveals a leader, nor a dominant signature. For adventurous listeners, isn't that exactly what we want from our improvisors?

Let's stick with just Borderlands Trio. Asteroidea is a collective effort with each of the musicians credited for all of the music, and all of the music is improvised. The extraordinary accomplishment here is the trio's ability to fashion clear, logical, and convincing song forms from naught. That certainly is attributable to the caliber of musicians heard here. Bassist Stephan Crump is the pulse behind Vijay Iyer's Sextet and Trio and he leads his own Rosetta Trio and Rhombal quartet. Pianist Kris Davis is much in demand, performing with Eric Revis, Ingrid Laubrock, Tyshawn Sorey, leading a trio, and releasing the impressive Duopoly (Pyroclastic Records, 2016) a series of duos with eight musicians includingCraig Taborn, Bill Frisell, and Tim Berne. Drummer Eric McPherson is the motor that has made Fred Hersch's trio with John Hébert run since 2010.

Asteroidea opens with the nearly 30-minute "Borderlands," a piece that has more gears than an 18-wheeler. Davis' rhythmic opening precipitates a cascade of impulses. Her piano, which she utilizes often prepared with objects and tape, can be percussive or song-like. Then again, so can Crump's bass and McPherson's drums. Timekeeping is passed between the players, as is melody and direction. The much shorter (2:06) "Carnaval Hill" is more in the free jazz piano tradition with walking bass, energy drums, and garrulous piano. The trio might have utilized this as a reference point for pieces like "Flockwork." This piece features Davis' prepared piano morphing into a mechanical clock, the punchy "Body Waves" with Crump knocking on the wood of his bass, and McPherson handling melody, before all switches again into stark beauty. The sly grooves of "Polliwogs" are the background for popping piano notes and the the trio's eventual quieting march.

Track Listing: Borderlands; Carnaval Hill; Flockwork; Ochre; Body Waves; From Polliwogs.

Personnel: Stephan Crump: bass; Kris Davis: piano; Eric McPherson: drums.

Title: Asteroidea | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Intakt Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Way of It CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Tag Book CD/LP/Track Review Tag Book
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Hide Ye Idols CD/LP/Track Review Hide Ye Idols
by Troy Collins
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Spavati, Mozda Sanjati CD/LP/Track Review Spavati, Mozda Sanjati
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "Live at Ronnie Scott's" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Ronnie Scott's
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 10, 2017
Read "Ignacio" CD/LP/Track Review Ignacio
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Jorg Schippa's Kiosk" CD/LP/Track Review Jorg Schippa's Kiosk
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 24, 2017
Read "Translator's Note" CD/LP/Track Review Translator's Note
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 3, 2017
Read "Jazz Flute Traditions" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Flute Traditions
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 21, 2017
Read "Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets" CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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

Please support out sponsor