241

Chris Speed Trio: Iffy

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
After releasing two noteworthy and thoroughly – cutting edge – recordings for the “Songlines” modern-jazz label, saxophonist/clarinetist/composer Chris Speed adds new meaning to the phrase – power organ trio – with his latest endeavor and first recording for “Knitting Factory Records”, titled Iffy. With this outing, Speed utilizes the laudable talents of keyboardist Jamie Saft who is rapidly evolving into a dynamo of lofty proportions and the equally adept, hard hitting drummer/bandleader Ben Perowsky, as the Trio pursues power-organ grooves with a modern-jazz slant.

Speed and associates waste little time going for the jugular on the opener titled, “A Little Odd” while Saft perpetuates massively swinging B-3 organ lines underneath Speed’s gorgeously lyrical and memorably melodic phrasing performed on clarinet. A contrast of sorts, as Speed’s delicate yet purposeful attack, melds nicely with Perowsky’s brawny rhythmic pulse and Saft’s hard-edged execution. Throughout, Jamie Saft is liable to smother or swarm over his B-3/keyboards while concurrently paying some noticeable homage to the late great organist, Larry Young. Perhaps, Saft is carrying Young’s – innovative torch – while also possessing a charismatic voice of his own! On ”Graphic Ridiculous”, Speed multitasks as he restates the main theme while also supporting the always burgeoning flow. Here, Saft increases the momentum with an engagingly boisterous tirade behind the keys of his B-3 keyboard.

Speed picks up the tenor sax on the combo Texas roadhouse/bop piece “FMU”, as the musicians interweave Monk-ish lines into swinging grooves and overstated themes whereas Saft constructs dark, ominous and somewhat mysterious B-3 voicings, via his utilization of extended notes, and oscillating sounds. The men also turn in swift unison hard-bop phrasing on “CooCoo” as Saft proceeds to develop a wall of sound amid vigorous soloing and punishing choruses!

Chris Speed possesses a true renaissance spirit! Along with the band, “Pachora” who meld “Balkan and North African motifs” with modern jazz ideologies, a lengthy and quite fruitful affiliation with altoist Tim Berne and other ventures too numerous to mention here, Iffy marks yet another new direction for this modern day stylist. Basically, Chris Speed is one of modern-jazz’ great young explorers who along with a select few are reforming or modifying traditional concepts while pursuing novel philosophies in conjunction with often mind-bending technical acumen! .... Highly recommended. - * * * * ½

Visit the Knitting Factory Records website at: www.knittingfactory.com

| Record Label: Knitting Factory | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

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 June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "The Chicago Plan" CD/LP/Track Review The Chicago Plan
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 16, 2017
Read "A Multitude of Angels" CD/LP/Track Review A Multitude of Angels
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Sunday Night At The Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review Sunday Night At The Vanguard
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 18, 2016
Read "Inner Agent" CD/LP/Track Review Inner Agent
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 20, 2016
Read "Real Talk" CD/LP/Track Review Real Talk
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 20, 2016
Read "S-O-L-O: 30th Birthday/30 Concerts/30 Cities" CD/LP/Track Review S-O-L-O: 30th Birthday/30 Concerts/30 Cities
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 19, 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!