Arild Andersen's superb trio with tenor saxophonist Tommy Smith and drummer Paolo Vinaccia had previously released two ECM albums, Live at Belleville
(2008), and Mira
(2014). Smith and Andersen joined the saxophonist's frequent collaborators, the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra for Celebration
(2015) which included "Independency, Pt. 4" from Belleville
. In-House Science
is the second live album from the trio.
Andersen's long career began in the late 1960s jumping right to well established artists such as George Russell
, Don Cherry
, Phil Woods
, Dexter Gordon
and Tomasz Stanko
. With more than twenty leader datesthe majority with ECMhe has also been a sideman on some pivotal releases with Terje Rypdal
, Bobo Stenson
, Jan Garbarek
and Bill Frisell
. Smith is something of a prodigy having worked with Gary Burton
, Steve Swallow
and Adam Nussbaum
while still a teenager. He went on to a Blue Note contract playing with Tommy Flanagan
and Chick Corea
and earning a well-deserved reputation as one of the best tenor players in the UK. Italian born percussionist/composer Paolo Vinaccia has resided in Norway for almost forty years. He has recorded on more than one-hundred albums working with Rypdal, Palle Mikkelborg
, Mike Mainieri
and Jon Christensen
to name just a few.
The music on In-House Science
reverts to the amalgam of buoyant and shadowy moods that defined this trio's debut. The opener is a version of Mira
's title track, extended over the original length and a bit darker, bar a fiery mid-song burst from Smith. The longest, most freely played piece, "Science" features exhilarating, fast-paced solos and an extended duet between Andersen and Vinaccia. "North of the Northwind" is an atmospheric composition; the moody bowed bass and saxophone melding, breaking off and patiently building in intensity. "Blussy" is another Mira
selection, again stretched out from the original. "Inhouse" closes the set; another opportunity for extended solos but especially spotlighting the musicality of Vinaccia.
Over his fifty year recording career, Andersen has shown his ability to excel across a wide range of styles, from the raw edginess of Jan Garbarek's Esoteric Circle
(Flying Ducthman, 1969) to the spare, avant-garde Ancient Land, New Territory
(Shipwrecords, 2015) with percussionist Jonas Howden Sjøvaag, and Carsten Dahl
's eclectic piano trio on Under the Rainbow
(Storyville, 2013). Throughout the dissimilar array of music, Andersen's beefy, distinct bass can be a deep, woody anchor or an airborne provocateur. The difficult sax trio formation benefits greatly from Smith's own versatility. He moves from long, fluid lines to pointed, prickling sketches, making the saxophone speak in tongues and keeping the dialog with Andersen moving forward. In-House Science
is the best of this trio to date.
Mira; Science; Venice; North of The Northwind; Blussy; Inhouse.
Arild Andersen: double-bass; Paolo Vinaccia: drums; Tommy Smith: tenor saxophone.