This international trio of skilled improvisers reflects on the experiences of their expatriating pater familiae, some moving to Canada, some moving to the US. They explore their ancestors' leap into the unknown by leaping into these seven different impressions of passage. Drummer/leader John Heward and reedman Joe Giardullo share an association with Joe McPhee. Seattleite Bisio counts Andrew Hill, Vinny Golia, Sonny Simmons, and John Tchicai on his resume.
Heward's solo drums give a ceremonial then free swing introduction to the first pass. Giardullo swaggers in on a big tenor, playing multiphonic and multileveled. A wide vibrato gives way to fast high notes dancing above Heward, eventually wringing a unique vocabulary of sound from the sax. "Let Them Pass Two" has Heward busy on drums and Bisio bowing like a bee; Giardullo enters serene on flute. He stays little infected by the frenzy around him, content to improvise on Eastern European modes. Heward's shimmering rhythms and Bisio's active arco create a busy context for Giardullo's sober flute.
The third pass emerges from a soulful place with Giardullo mining emotional material. Bisio plucks overtime, outpacing his partners. Giardullo sings high and rarefied over Bisio's insistent pattern. He finds a low subtle sound on tenor and holds it, Bisio marching on, Heward roaming lightly. Pass Four has Giardullo seducing a bass clarinet with soft whispers, Bisio providing warm sympathies. Heward adds the right touch with quiet kalimba backing, Bisio sticks to rhythmic harmonics.
Giardullo and Bisio lock into minimalist extended techniques for Pass Five, Giardullo back on bass clarinet. Heward keeps his playing a secret until he picks up his attack, bringing the other two musicians out of their reverie. Soon a full-bodied improvisation takes shape rushing headlong. Six features Giardullo's low gorgeous alto flute played deeply through the balladic piece. Bisio bows low; Heward plays hand drums. Giardullo's raw tenor cry opens Pass Seven and Bisio takes off like lightning. Giardullo blasts through with a whiff of Pharoah Sanders, all three practicing advanced deep listening.
John Heward's Trio moves with fire and pop, producing consistently compelling improvisations and exceptional excursions into a creativity as fresh as a breaking wave.
Track Listing: Let Them Pass One; Let Them Pass Two; Let Them Pass Three; Let Them Pass Four; Let Them Pass Five; Let Them Pass Six; Let Them Pass Seven
Personnel: John Heward: drums and percussion; Mike Bisio: bass; Joe Giardullo: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, piccolo, alto flute
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already. SOOOO... he started me off LP's by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, Bill Evans, Monty Alexander, Charlie Byrd, and Dave Brubeck... does it get any better than that? ...No, it doesn't. I was hooked!!
I met and had a master class with the late music giant John Lewis, leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet! This was at CCNY in 1977. I was blessed! It was an incredible class... how could it have been anything else?!?!
The first jazz record I bought was...I bought numerous records from my friend at the record store, as mentioned above. He introduced me to nothing but music giants/legends! I think The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Greatest Hits, was actually the first one.
My advice to new listeners... study first--understand the rudiments--solfeggio, keys, scales, and basic chords. Read a book or take a class that includes the study of chord progressions, especially in jazz. It should ideally be a piano class so you can play multiple notes together. Have a good EAR or else it's not really worth it in my view...to become a musician, a good EAR for music is about as fundamental as breathing! Learn to read chord charts--i.e., lead sheets - wherein you play various voicings of the chords--major, minor, dominant 7th (alterations of these, you can learn over time - the basic chords are most important for starters), plus the melody, on the piano or keyboard. If you have to read the exact notes, then it's not the same as actually internalizing it & getting it all into your head. If you can do this, I think you're ready not only for listening to jazz, but understanding many concepts of it! Of course...anyone can listen to jazz... but I think it's so good to also have a grasp of it.