Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

5

Joey Baron: Just Listen

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Joey Baron: Just Listen Drummer Joey Baron and guitarist Bill Frisell have collaborated on and off for three decades, and both artists are firmly ensconced within the modern era's jazz transformation, spanning avant-garde, modern mainstream jazz, jazz-rock and so on. Frisell is a guitar hero, while Baron's far-reaching influence needs no elaboration here. This album denotes the output from a 2008 drum summit in Bonn, Germany. But as producer Stephan Andrae cites in the album notes, the program was based on "three abstract pillars of content: Rhythm, Floating, and Magic." With that in mind, the musicians operate from the same plane of thought amid a joint musical spirit that, from the outset, yields copious rewards.

Baron's holistic musicality effortlessly parallels the concert's rhythmic-based goals. In addition, he acts as a colorist when dancing across the toms along with a few brief solo spots, containing lyrical qualities. Sustaining interest is not always the case when artists partake in a barebones setting sans a bassist or instrument augmentation. But the duo's use of openness spawns a vantage point, which is a factor that allows them to improvise from a 360-degree perspective. They reverse engineer many of these works and also engage in skittish flurries, changeable pulses, fragmented choruses and high-volume aerial attacks.

"Trick Memory" features Frisell's restrained experimentation, exhibited by upper-register harmonics and some off-kilter fidgeting, but they take this piece farther along with a sweet melody-line that carries the semblance of lullaby. Intricately executed delicacies are woven into the overall fabric. However, another diversion emanates from their take on Sam Coooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," which is a capacious soul-blues treat, sprinkled with tuneful hooks and Frisell's vibrato-drenched chord clusters. Then the guitarist puts the pedal to the metal via reverberating single note leads, followed by some general mayhem for the closeout.

Baron's lyrical traits shine on the jazz standard "Cherokee," as he bounces and darts across the kit during this swiftly exercised rendition. The final track is the duo's original composition "Home On The Road," leading to guitarist John McLaughlin's memorable "Follow Your Heart," a medium-tempo ballad boasting a succinct melody that falls somewhere between joy and sorrow. But that doesn't last long—Baron steps up the pace and Frisell launches into a tirade, gushing brash crunch chords and maniacal distortion-induced phrasings. To summarize, Just Listen is a stylistic outing that institutionalizes the respective musicians' boundless synergy and irrefutable camaraderie. You can't learn this stuff in school. From a duet-based perspective, it's a match made in heaven.


Track Listing: Surprise / Benny’s Bounce; Trick Memory; Pick apart; Night Howl; A Change Is Gonna Come; Cherokee; Mood; My Little Suede Shoes; Home On The Road / Follow Your Heart.

Personnel: Joey Baron: drums; Bill Frisell: guitar

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Relative Pitch Records


Shop

More Articles

Read Umbrella Weather CD/LP/Track Review Umbrella Weather
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Born In An Urban Ruin CD/LP/Track Review Born In An Urban Ruin
by John Sharpe
Published: January 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs) CD/LP/Track Review Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 24, 2017
Read #knowingishalfthebattle CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Live In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Freedom is a State of Mind" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom is a State of Mind
by Dave Wayne
Published: June 27, 2016
Read "Komorebi" CD/LP/Track Review Komorebi
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 17, 2016
Read "Untitled" CD/LP/Track Review Untitled
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 13, 2016
Read "One For Marian: Celebrating Marian McPartland" CD/LP/Track Review One For Marian: Celebrating Marian McPartland
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 5, 2016
Read "The Eastcote Studios Session" CD/LP/Track Review The Eastcote Studios Session
by John Eyles
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "WANDERlust" CD/LP/Track Review WANDERlust
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!