3

Jonathan Gee: Dragonfly

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Jonathan Gee: Dragonfly 50 years ago, modern jazz piano trios would barely be recognizable to the majority of their counterparts—except perhaps Bill Evans' trio. Today, cutting-edge jazz trios require interaction between players and expect both drummer and bassist to be more than just disciples. Trio leaders such as Jason Moran, John Escreet, Matthew Shipp all write and perform their music as a three-way conversation. Add to that list, London-based pianist Jonathan Gee.

Gee, a contributor to the UK scene with vibraphonist Orphy Robinson, saxophonist Steve Williamson, singer Claire Martin, and his European trio, finds himself in good company in New York with bassist Joseph Lepore (Greg Osby) and drummer Nasheet Waits (pianists Moran and Orrin Evans, trumpeter Dave Douglas). Dragonfly is comprised of seven originals and one Thelonious Monk tune.

The disc opens with the propulsive "Beyond." Gee's piano runs, chest-bumping against the zealous vigor of Waits attack. This heady music clears the sinuses and opens up the lungs. If it weren't for the amazing communication between players, songs like "Black Ball" would seemed prejudiced and rocky. But, with Lepore's pulse, and he isn't in the business of keeping time, the maelstrom is contained and Gee's message is coherent. In fact, it swings very, very hard.

Like Moran, Gee composes with a sense of both jazz canon and contemporary sounds. He can lift a sweet melody such as "Tortadilla" and transition from a hummed blues melody into bits and pieces of acrobatics. Often, Gee's sleight-of-hand involves the blues. He negotiates a modern sounding "Cream Of Mandarins" with a fleeting passage of blues and two-handed attack, all the while with Waits in full agitation mode. The cross-roads meeting with Lepore is all to service the tune.

The summation of this trio is in Monk's "We See." Gee negotiates the track as if he is taking shorthand—hopping, skipping and jumping as he accelerates across the melody. It's modern, it's Monk, and it's a three-way conversation.


Track Listing: Beyond; Dragonfly; Black Ball; Tortadilla; Cream Of Mandarins; Yellow Ball; We See; Cicada.

Personnel: Jonathan Gee: piano; Joseph Lepore: double bass; Nasheet Wait: drums.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: ASC Records


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Cream Of Mandarins
Not On Label (Jonathan Dane Self-released)
2004
buy

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Algorithmic Society" CD/LP/Track Review Algorithmic Society
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Message From Saturn" CD/LP/Track Review Message From Saturn
by James Nadal
Published: November 12, 2016
Read "Michael Gamble and The Rhythm Serenaders" CD/LP/Track Review Michael Gamble and The Rhythm Serenaders
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "More Stories from the Village" CD/LP/Track Review More Stories from the Village
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 13, 2016
Read "Steeped" CD/LP/Track Review Steeped
by John Eyles
Published: October 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!