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Many of us so-called modern jazz advocates generally maintain a cognizant lookout for exciting young talent to rejuvenate our sometimes quiescent spirits. One recent entry into the avant-garde electro-acoustic jazz scheme of things is a searing hot trio hailing from Cleveland, Ohio who call themselves – “Birth”. Marked by, what appears to be DNA patterns splattered across an unassuming brown bag colored CD jacket, the trio consisting of saxophonist, EFX whiz Joshua Smith, bassist Jeremy Bleich and drummer-percussionist Joe Tomino have generated a highly energetic format that is sure to garner some serious attention.
Just imagine a melding of 1970’s progressive-rock ideologies with the highly charged modern jazz dialogue witnessed in the late saxophonist Tom Chapin’s now legendary acoustic trio recordings. Simply put this band fuses lightning quick unison choruses with impossibly precise odd-metered rhythms amid Smith’s burning lines and crafty utilization of electronics. Recorded live at “Mr. Small’s Funhouse” in Pittsburgh, PA, the trio melds dark ambiance with jabbing yet tightly coordinated – in the pocket – rhythms along with more peaks, valleys, twists and turns one could possibly imagine within the confines of a 54-minute recording. Now, in lieu of exquisite chops and technical acumen, the band adheres to the unwritten code that places emphasis on strong material in accordance with intriguing dialogue and suspenseful episodic engagements witnessed on pieces such as “Subliminal Ink”, “Cows” and elsewhere. Hence, a thunderous and altogether adrenalized exhibition of sizzling interplay and staggering group dialogue that parallels the musician’s seemingly inherent flair for the dynamic. Recommended.
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Joshua Smith; Tenor and Alto Saxes, Live Effects Processing: Joe Tomino; Drums, Percussion, Metals: Jeremy Bleich; Bass