104

Jacob Melchior: It's About Time

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Jacob Melchior: It's About Time The art of the trio often takes shape in a variety of ways. Many of today's leading three-piece groups rely on a difficult-is-better approach, reveling in rhythmic trickery, harmonic complexity and melodic fragmentation. Others choose to distill everything down to bare essentials but, in doing so, run the risk of playing dumbed-down lounge jazz that's generic and generally boring. Drummer Jacob Melchior's trio travels on a path that moves comfortably between these two extremes and, in doing so, remains highly accessible and manages to hold interest.

While drummer-leaders often feel the need to pull every trick out of their bag to prove their worth, Melchior's playing lives up to his album title and the group sound proves to be more important to him than individual percussive flash. Collective coherence trumps all here: whether laying down an infectious Calypso-inspired groove ("Bird Of Beauty"); providing subtle percussive inflections and soft-as-can-be bossa nova patterns ("Brigas Nunca Mais"); or simply swinging at a relaxed pace ("Summer Fair"), Melchior always puts the music before himself.

His trio mates are superb collaborators who share the drummer's vision for clarity. Bassist Hassan Shakur Shakur's bass is the central melodic presence on a deeply soulful take of "The Lady Of My Life," which morphs into a collectively written piece called "My Baby," -and he and Melchior demonstrate telepathic rapport as they explore the underbrush of "It Might As Well Be Spring," leaving pianist Tadataka Unno to handle the heavy lifting above. Unno is a master of self-editing, providing what's necessary without overplaying. Even when delivering speedy runs ("Lover/Gerry's Wig"), his touch remains graceful. The trio also proves to be simpatico in their accompanying sensibilities, backing guest vocalist Frank Senior with class on "For All We Know."

While Melchior is often a selfless presence, he still finds plenty of solo space to make his mark. The drummer adds some Gene Krupa-like flare to "Dancing Foo/Squatty Roo"; provides some terrific tom work as "Bird Of Beauty" takes flight; and thrives whenever he trades solos with his musical partners ("Summer Fair").

After hearing all nine tracks here, it's evident that It's About Time is really about chemistry, musical creation and the intimate bond between three musicians who speak the same language.


Track Listing: Dancing Foo/Squatty Roo; Brigas Nunca Mas; For All We Know; The Lady Of My Life/Baby; You Don't Know What Love Is/Love Is What; Bird Of Beauty; Summer Fair; It Might As Well Be Spring; Lover/Gerry's Wig.

Personnel: Tadataka Unno: piano; Hassan JJ Shakur: bass; Jacob Melchior: drums, percussion: Frank Senior: vocals (3).

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
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 Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Christmastime in New Orleans" CD/LP/Track Review Christmastime in New Orleans
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "Binary" CD/LP/Track Review Binary
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "Of Sound Mind" CD/LP/Track Review Of Sound Mind
by Budd Kopman
Published: September 30, 2016
Read "We Live Here" CD/LP/Track Review We Live Here
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "Now Hear This!" CD/LP/Track Review Now Hear This!
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "The Third Decade" CD/LP/Track Review The Third Decade
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 16, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!