Jorge Sylvester Afro-Caribbean Experimental Trio: In the Ear of the Beholder

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Jorge Sylvester Afro-Caribbean Experimental Trio: In the Ear of the Beholder Jazz artists often approach Afro-Caribbean music from a reductionist rhythmic standpoint, neglecting the richness of the tradition. But Jorge Sylvester takes care to present the whole picture on In the Ear of the Beholder. Taking various Afro-Caribbean styles and paring them down to a raw trio format (sax/bass/drums), he compels each player to bring something unique to the mix.

Much of the improvisation on In the Ear explores individual traditional styles in step-by-step fashion. "Tambor—The Mix," for example, works its way through theme and variations, emphasizing Afro-Brazilian rhythms. Sylvester's saxophone voice pursues tangents off of a tonal center, gradually evolving with the bass and drums in and out of moments of sheer pulsing energy. Toward the end of the piece, the three musicians emerge into raw three-way polyrhythm. Subsequent tunes incorporate ideas from traditional Panamanian, Mexican, Afro-Cuban, Jamaican, and Afro-American music. The most notable thread running through all these pieces is a surprising fluidity of motion: while the trio may explore odd meters or complex melodic interaction, the overall "feel" remains unswervingly organic.

As a true hybrid of traditions, the music on In the Ear also incorporates a healthy dose of North American ("Afro-American") influence as well. Particularly in the more involved saxophone improvisations, hints of Getz, Rollins, and Coltrane appear. "King's Highway" operates around of a Pastorius-inspired bass line. Thus the trio expounds its self-proclaimed "experimental" edge. And as a consequence, the music is hardly easy listening. It's propulsive and dynamic, but also quite intellectually involved. There is no easy classification, no simple reductionism, and nothing primitive about In the Ear of the Beholder.

Track Listing: Tambor--The Mix; Sly Mangoose; Coraz

Personnel: Jorge Sylvester: alto saxophone, hand claps, voice, cuica voice effect, maracas, and cow bell; Donald Nicks: electric bass guitar and fretless bass guitar; Bobby Sanabria: drums and bells.

Title: In the Ear of the Beholder | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Jazz Magnet Records


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Matador 4" CD/LP/Track Review Matador 4
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "The Blue Shroud" CD/LP/Track Review The Blue Shroud
by John Sharpe
Published: September 17, 2016
Read "Holding the Stage: Road Shows Vol. 4" CD/LP/Track Review Holding the Stage: Road Shows Vol. 4
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Carol Morgan Quartet - Post Cool Vol. 1 The Night Shift" CD/LP/Track Review Carol Morgan Quartet - Post Cool Vol. 1 The Night Shift
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Aerial" CD/LP/Track Review Aerial
by Pascal-Denis Lussier
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Binary" CD/LP/Track Review Binary
by John Sharpe
Published: January 21, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.