Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

2

Tori Freestone Trio: El Barranco

Roger Farbey By

Sign in to view read count
El Barranco is the Tori Freestone Trio's follow-up to their 2014 debut album In The Chop House, released once again on the ever-burgeoning Whirlwind Recordings label.

The chordless sound of the trio evinces a warmth which inevitably invites comparisons with the chief progenitor of this configuration, Sonny Rollins and his 1957 album Way Out West, but Freestone doesn't share Rollins's cutting edge, so perhaps a more accurate comparison might be Albert Ayler whose tenor meanderings on his seminal Spiritual Unity would constitute a template for future trio-based free improvisation.

The album's title derives from Tenerife's mountainous regions known as El Barranco de Masca and these geographical areas are also reflected in the evocative sketches on the front and back of the CD sleeve, expertly drawn by the saxophonist. Freestone's composition "El Barranco" opens with Dave Manington's lone bass, soon joined by Tim Giles on drums and the saxophonist evincing a winsome tenor melody line mirrored by Manington's bass, following which he gives a pithy bass solo. "The Press Gang" is a traditional folk song and here is given a suitably lugubrious treatment, the melody subtly woven in between Ayler-esque improvisation. Freestone's "Identity Protection" is a relatively meaty affair beginning with a more strident repeated riff, reminiscent, in some respects, of the dizzy heights scaled by John Surman, Barre Phillips and the late Stu Martin in their short-lived but illustrious trio.

The standard "All Or Nothing At All," arranged here by Freestone, effectively deconstructs Arthur Altman's song made famous by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday. By contrast Dave Manington's "Challenger Deep" is a sombre dirge-like affair with Freestone plumbing the lower registers of the tenor. Manington also composed the spiky "Quetzalcoatlus," which sounds like a made-up title but is in fact the name of a huge flying animal from the late Cretaceous period.

The languid Freestone composition "Cross Wired" sees the tenor and bass sinuously crossing over each other's lines whereas "Cross Wired," again by Freestone, benefits from an often-repeated memorable melody over a moderate tempo. The album closes with a plaintive outlier, a repetition of the second track "The Press Gang (Reprise)," but this time performed as a song, where Freestone is heard on vocals and violin, accompanied by Manington on bass.

The main strength of this album is the feeling of space , also reflected in the album's title, which contrary to contemporary proclivities, tends not so much to overwhelm as to absorb the listener, and makes for a singularly refreshing change from the current propensity to dazzle with compositional complexities and ostentatious virtuosity. The three musicians gel together perfectly, exuding skill and harmony within an all-too-rarely heard chordless formation.

Track Listing: El Barranco; The Press Gang; Identity Protection; All Or Nothing At All; Challenger Deep; Quetzalcoatlus; A Charmed Life; Cross Wired; Press Gang (Reprise).

Personnel: Tori Freestone: tenor saxophone, violin & vocals; Dave Manington: double bass; Tim Giles: drums.

Title: El Barranco | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Whirlwind Recordings Ltd

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Rats Live on No Evil Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rats Live on No Evil Star
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 9, 2018
Read We Two CD/LP/Track Review
We Two
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 9, 2018
Read Angel Band: Free Country Vol. 3 CD/LP/Track Review
Angel Band: Free Country Vol. 3
by Peter Hoetjes
Published: December 9, 2018
Read The Complete Lansdowne Recordings 1965-1969 (Vinyl box set) CD/LP/Track Review
The Complete Lansdowne Recordings 1965-1969 (Vinyl box set)
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 9, 2018
Read The End of the Universe CD/LP/Track Review
The End of the Universe
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 9, 2018
Read Little Big CD/LP/Track Review
Little Big
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 8, 2018
Read "Arise!" CD/LP/Track Review Arise!
by Chris May
Published: April 24, 2018
Read "Travelers" CD/LP/Track Review Travelers
by John Kelman
Published: May 18, 2018
Read "To Pianos" CD/LP/Track Review To Pianos
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 10, 2018
Read "The Diary Of Robert Reverie" CD/LP/Track Review The Diary Of Robert Reverie
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 1, 2018
Read "Presence" CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "The Nobuki Takamen Trio" CD/LP/Track Review The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 11, 2018