178

Joe McPhee: Journey

Florence Wetzel By

Sign in to view read count
Joe McPhee: Journey Trio-X, composed of Joe McPhee on saxophone, Dominic Duval on bass, and Jay Rosen on drums, has made its Journey on CIMP. The label known as CIMP, or Creative Improvised Music Projects, occupies a unique place amongst its peers. Having recorded dozens of avant-garde groups, its vision includes presenting the music as is, recorded live to two tracks with no further editing. Bob Rusch and his family are closely involved in all aspects of CIMP’s recordings, as evidenced by liner notes, which offer an intimate portrait of a jazz recording session.

Rusch is clearly proud to present Trio-X. He mentions the group’s honesty, and it’s an apt description, because Trio-X never gives less than 100%. The group performs as a cooperative, and the three musicians are clearly comfortable with each other. It’s impossible to say too many good things about Joe McPhee; his playing is cerebral, forceful, and intensely passionate. After decades of committed playing, his talent is so strong and so deep it’s unshakable. The same can be said of Duval, whose powerful drive and sensitivity make him one of free jazz’s most popular bassists. Rosen, the youngest member of the group, has an amazing range and an unerring instinct for conjuring up the right sound at the right time.

Of the ten songs on Journey, eight clock in at under ten minutes. In the liner notes Rusch expresses surprise that the songs are, for improvised music, rather short, but this brevity enhances rather than detracts: it allows Trio-X to display the many sides of its talent, and it also makes the CD a good introduction for listeners easing into improvised music. Highlights include “Everything in Nothing Flat,” which features McPhee’s full-out blowing; “Albert’s Alto,” a high-spirited tribute to the great Albert Ayler where McPhee gets Ayler’s tone and spirit just right; and “Amazing Grace,” the last selection on the CD, a moving rendition dedicated to Duval’s late wife.

CIMP’s statement of purpose boldly declares, “CIMP records are not intended to be background music.” And it’s true: although one can listen to Journey with half an ear, its greatest rewards come from attention and complete immersion. Certainly Trio-X is worth the effort. And as powerful as this group is on CD, they are not to be missed live, so be sure to catch them next time they’re in town.


Personnel: Joe McPhee: saxophone; Dominic Duval: bass; Jay Rosen: drums;

Title: Journey | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: CIMP Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Flesh & Bone CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Generations CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 22, 2017
Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Live At The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Pasar Klewer" CD/LP/Track Review Pasar Klewer
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Where the Blue Begins" CD/LP/Track Review Where the Blue Begins
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 7, 2017
Read "Sharpener" CD/LP/Track Review Sharpener
by Nick Davies
Published: December 21, 2016
Read "Better Left Unsung" CD/LP/Track Review Better Left Unsung
by Doug Collette
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "Loneliness Road" CD/LP/Track Review Loneliness Road
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 11, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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