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 Mais; For All We Know; The Lady of My Life / My 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; Frank Senior: vocals (3).

Title: It's About Time | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Float The Edge CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by John Sharpe
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Resonance CD/LP/Track Review Resonance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Black Focus CD/LP/Track Review Black Focus
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Live" CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Anybody's Spring" CD/LP/Track Review Anybody's Spring
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 2, 2017
Read "Afro-Caribbean Mixtape" CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Float The Edge" CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by John Sharpe
Published: July 23, 2017
Read "Live at 5e" CD/LP/Track Review Live at 5e
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Strange Voodoo from Electric Salad Studio: Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Strange Voodoo from Electric Salad Studio: Volume 1
by Jack Gold-Molina
Published: November 28, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!