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Duane Eubanks/Eric McPherson/Dezron Douglas: Live At Maxwell's

Budd Kopman By

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DE3 is a cooperative trio whose name is an acronym for its members: bassist Dezron Douglas, drummer Eric McPherson both of whom came from trumpeter Duane Eubanks's, quintet (which includes saxophonist Abraham Burton and Marc Cary on keyboards).

Engineer Jimmy Katz, who recorded Noah Preminger's trio on Pivot: Live At The 55 Bar so well, invited the trio to record at Steve Maxwell's Drum Shop with no pressures of time or otherwise.

The result is the Live At Maxwell's, where "live" basically means unedited rather than with an audience. In the end the meaning is the same in that the music has that unplanned, chance-taking feeling of a live concert. The actual sound is on the dry side but highly detailed with a very strong you-are-there feel.

Since there is no harmony instrument, the players are quite exposed, and it becomes quickly clear that each has a lead voice, even when all play together. These musical lines are highly integrated while remaining distinct, and it is this delicate balance which makes the music exhilarating.

Eubanks lauds McPherson as the engine of the group and indeed his extremely flexible and delicate but forceful drumming defines each track and the set as a whole. The atmosphere of experimentation comes primarily from McPherson who manages to keep the music wide open rhythmically while meshing with Douglas' bass lines. Hence, the set has a creative intensity coming from its center, which, however, is surrounded by a calmness that is almost eerie.

Each track has its own identity, but "Saturday Moanin'" (called "Sunday Moanin'" in Eubanks' notes) and "Little Rock," which evolved from the bass lines brought by Douglas should noted in that Eubanks and McPherson improvise the melodies and rhythm on the spot.

Eubanks, McPherson and Douglas really bare their music souls, and Live At Maxwell's ends up being a completely engrossing and highly emotional listening experience.

Track Listing: Brainfreeze; A Slight Taste; Little Johnny C Blues; Saturday Moanin'; Strokish; Ebony Slick; Little Rock.

Personnel: Duane Eubanks: trumpet; Eric McPherson: drums; Dezron Douglas: bass.

Title: Live At Maxwell's | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

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