Past and present converge on Good Friday
, the persuasive debut from Origin Storythe Dublin-trio of Greg Felton
, Matthew Jacobson
and Cormac O'Brien. Formerly known as F-JOB, the trio has been gigging since 2016, though the three musicians' paths have crossed in various settings over many more years. On these seven originals it is a case of familiarity breeding intuitive, free-flowing dialogue, where grooves old and new form the backdrop to fine individual and collective performances.
"Good Friday," one of four Felton compositions, sets the bar high from the start. Jacobson's snappy stickwork, O'Brien's earthy bass ostinato and Felton's sprightly motif make for an infectious intro. Felton's melodious solo meanders through the quirky, slightly cryptical sort of terrain ploughed by Thelonious Monk
and Paul Bley
before settling with O'Brien on a vamp which fires Jacobson's engine. The drummer's "Macon St." is a knottier affair of shifting tempi, rising-falling intensity, ear-worm melodicism and free improvisation. At the looser end of proceedings, Felton unleashes flashing glissandi over Jacobson and O'Brien's respective storms before order is quietly restored.
The trio casts a quietly mesmerizing spell on Felton's pensive slower tune "Regarding Time," a beautifully spare mediation which foregrounds a lyrical intervention from O'Brien. The bassist's own "Squirk" is a boppish burner, his walking linesnicely varied in pace underpinning Felton's idiosyncratic improvisation, with Jacobson also exerting some muscle before a return to the head. There is a more contemporary feel to Jacobson's "Bergen St." and "Undone"; on the former, close-knit interplay gives way to extended solos from O'Brien and Felton, with drums rising powerfully in the mix before an abrupt finale; on the latter, Jacobson's slowly stirring brushes set the tone on a blue-toned ballad that delicately flirts with, though does not entirely succumb to abstraction.
The heat is turned up once again on "Rum," a joyously exuberant Afro-Cuban workout; pulsating bass grooves, Latin vamps and bristling drums are the order of the day, with Felton's mazy solo conjuring Rubén González
at his playful best. "Mild Turkish Delight" rounds things off in classic bebop style. At just under two-and-a-half minutes it feels like a rousing first-set closer, and a nod to those who have paved the way for the estimable likes of Felton, Jacobson and O'Brien.
With one foot in the past and the other firmly planted in contemporary soil, Origin Story's Good Friday
is both a celebration of influences and of new directions in jazz. Hopefully, there will be many more good days to come.
Good Friday; Macon St.; Regarding Time; Squirk; Bergen St.; Undone; Rum; Mild Turkish Delight.