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Damaged In Transit presents the jazz power trio of bassist Steve Swallow, saxophonist Chris Potter, and drummer Adam Nussbaum. These musicians have played together for a few years but are all seasoned and in demand artists in their own right. Swallow's prolific session work and recordings testify to his versatility. Potter is a dynamic saxophonist whose recent stints on his own and with Dave Holland or Steely Dan have proven his ability. Nussbaum, a long time drum master, has recorded with the likes of John Abercrombie and Patricia Barber. The musical chemistry between the musicians is clear and each one accentuates the other's performance on Damaged in Transit.
Recorded live in France in 2001, the concert seems to focus loosely on blending melodies with keen interaction. The selections (all entitled "Item") traverse the jazz scope with a variety of styles and expressions. "Item #1" is delivered as a heavy post bop swinger with Potter getting a thorough and robust workout on tenor sax as Swallow and Nussbaum drive the tempo. On the moody "Item #3," Swallow delivers a dark and angst filled bass throb as Nussbaum fills the air with cymbals and an occasional tom echo. This piece segues into "Item #4," with Swallow delivering one of his trademark bass solos and Potter and joining in on the up-tempo melody. Each item is filled with this same creative flux that keeps the recording spontaneous but imbued with a musical purpose. Highlights include the Potter's tenor range on the peaceful yet interesting "Item #7," the cool tropic flair of "Item #8," and Nausbamm's solo outro on "Item #2," which proves that this is not your typical jam session.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.