413

Daniel Levin Trio: Fuhuffah

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Daniel Levin Trio: Fuhuffah Fuhuffah is a departure of sorts for cellist Daniel Levin. His fourth recording as a leader dispenses with the chamber oriented instrumentation of his regular quartet (with bass, trumpet and vibraphone), in favor of a more conventional line-up. Accompanied by Norwegian bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten and drummer Gerald Cleaver, Levin leads his trio through six original and one traditional tune that ebb and flow with previously untapped vigor.

Encapsulating a broad range of dynamics, this session occasionally veers into the somber atmospheres of Levin's quartet albums while pushing further into vivacious rhythmic territory. The propulsive bass patterns of Flaten and the lively percussive interjections of Cleaver provide ample forward momentum, yet there is no shortage of tonal subtlety. Levin and Flaten utilize every string technique available to them, plucking and bowing with unfettered resolve, while Cleaver demonstrates sublime nuance, using both sticks and brushes with dexterous finesse.

Like a warning shot, Levin opens the album's title track with a harsh descending motif that plummets into a thicket of dissonant intervals and jagged angles constructed from fervid double stops, bright pizzicato and strident harmonics, while Flaten's hyperkinetic bass chases Cleaver's restless trap set through a labyrinthine maze.

"Shape" is an exceptional study in rhythm; a slinky swinger driven by a cool, grooving bass line and a funky, insistent hi-hat that fuels a slew of sonorous cadences from the leader, as well as a lyrical closing statement from Flaten. "Metaphor" finds Levin embarking on a series of plangent excursions supported by Cleaver's discerning cymbal accents and Flaten's hypnotic bass ostinato.

Brimming with emotional catharsis, the traditional tune "Hangman" is delivered as a haunting dirge. Levin's strident bowing invokes the tune's mordant lyrics with heartrending intensity. "Woods" is equally fervent; Levin and Flaten weave sinuous arco phrases into resonant overtones.

Delving into free territory, "Open" showcases the trio in a texturally rich pointillist improvisation, while "Wiggle" closes the album with a passionate tribute to saxophonist Jimmy Lyons. Negotiating harsh angles at a breakneck tempo, Levin bows with manic virtuosity while Flaten and Cleaver push relentlessly forward, each taking individual solo statements in turn.

A vibrant and assertive detour from his usual chamber oriented quartet offerings, Fuhuffah offers another facet of Levin's growing abilities as an improviser and writer of note.


Track Listing: Fuhuffah; Shape; Hangman; Metaphor; Open; Woods; Wiggle.

Personnel: Daniel Levin: cello; Ingebrigt Haker Flaten: bass; Gerald Cleaver: drums.

Title: Fuhuffah | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Meeting My Shadow CD/LP/Track Review Meeting My Shadow
by James Nadal
Published: July 22, 2017
Read No Secrets No Lies CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read 50 CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Saturday Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Saturday Songs
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "Duopoly" CD/LP/Track Review Duopoly
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "A Zoology of the Future" CD/LP/Track Review A Zoology of the Future
by John Sharpe
Published: September 23, 2016
Read "Floa" CD/LP/Track Review Floa
by Phil Barnes
Published: July 23, 2016
Read "Goat Man & The House of the Dead" CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Life and Other Transient Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Life and Other Transient Storms
by John Sharpe
Published: November 21, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!