184

E.C.F.A. Trio: Die Faden

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
The E.C.F.A. Trio has been working in the Austin, Texas area for the past eight years, and Die Faden is their first album. Because of their unusual instrumentation (tenor saxophone, viola, drums) and because of their frequent use of rubato or unmetered rhythms, it is tempting to classify the E.C.F.A. Trio as practitioners of free jazz. But that would be a hasty, even short-sighted act of labelling, because Die Faden offers a stimulating variety of idioms and approaches.

Much of the music here sounds through-composed. One piece, "Variations In C," sounds entirely through-composed, except that wildly inventive, exuberant drumming by James Alexander is integral to the composition. The music, most of which was written by saxophonist Carl Smith, makes use of tone rows, and it might sound excessively somber were it not for its sheer unpredictability. A dirge-like melody might suddenly be interrupted by a tempo change, or the drums might suddenly lay down a carpet of roiling swing.

Most of the improvising is contrapuntal, with all three musicians intertwining thoughtful lines. The musicians listen well and invent well together. On "Big Mess," Jason Friedrich plays a terrific viola solo. Carl Smith has a huge tenor saxophone sound, sometimes employing a wide vibrato that somewhat recalls Albert Ayler. He eschews the expressive devices commonly used by energy players, and he plays stately, almost regal lines. Drummer Alexander is a gifted, often exciting player. His flat-out swing on "3 Eggs" is exhilirating.

E.C.F.A. Trio and Die Faden are not always an easy listen. Their music is often knotty, sometimes static. With no bass or chordal instrument, the music sounds thin at times. But their music is also witty and unpredictable. The listener will have to pay close attention, but that attention will be rewarded. E.C.F.A. stands for "Emanation, Creation, Formation, Action."


Title: Die Faden | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Pecan Crazy Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Cherry ‎– Sakura CD/LP/Track Review Cherry ‎– Sakura
by John Sharpe
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Blow, Strike & Touch CD/LP/Track Review Blow, Strike & Touch
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "Vit" CD/LP/Track Review Vit
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "3Divas" CD/LP/Track Review 3Divas
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 2, 2017
Read "The Voice of Robert Desnos" CD/LP/Track Review The Voice of Robert Desnos
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Altadena" CD/LP/Track Review Altadena
by Mark F. Turner
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Live In Brooklyn" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by Doug Collette
Published: February 4, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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