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Leap Day Trio: Live at The Cafe Bohemia

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Leap Day Trio: Live at The Cafe Bohemia
Drummer Matt Wilson and tenor saxophonist Jeff Lederer have worked on many projects together, over a thirty-year period, covering everything from Christmas songs to the poetry of Carl Sandburg. This particular album finds them in a stripped-down trio, playing some of their most intense music ever, live at New York's reopened Cafe Bohemia.

The trio's third member is bassist Mimi Jones, a recent acquaintance of both men, who fits right in with their freewheeling dialogues. Lederer blows with a bellowing tenor sound which is melodic and swinging but also capable of rising into wooly, high-pitched split tones in the manner of Albert Ayler. As usual, Wilson is a versatile drummer who can pound, push, or glide over the beat as the mood dictates. Jones adds a forceful bottom to the music which keeps her two partners on track. She maintains a steady, up-tempo beat on the fire breathing "Dewey Spirit," and hums and throbs serenely on quieter pieces such as "Ghost Town" and "The Dream Weaver."

"Leap Of Faith" is a showcase for the trio's versatility. It starts out with a slow, pulsing beat and elegantly dancing tenor, then slowly increases tempo; Lederer gradually plays faster and louder as the rhythm section dances. "Leap Leap" starts with stuttering drum acrobatics before Lederer comes in, honking and screaming like an old r'n'b saxophonist. "Strival For Survival" is a feast of heavy, barreling tenor, out of John Coltrane and Dewey Redman, over stormy rhythms, while Lederer dips and slides over a thick waltzing beat on "Gospel Flowers." On "Wind Spirit," the tenor moans low and powerfully, over booming bass strums and pattering drum noises, before rising into a great rush of sound as Jones solos with the thick, soulful tone of Charlie Haden. The closing "For Friends" is a high-flying variation on "Just Friends" which shows this trio's adeptness at high-spirited swinging.

This set is a significant addition to the lineage of hard-blowing tenor trio albums previously made by the likes of David Murray, Sonny Rollins, and Joe Henderson. The Leap Day Trio's music is a heavyweight blast of passion and fire. Hopefully, they will be an ongoing unit and produce more work like this in the future.

Track Listing

Dewey Spirit; Leap of Faith; The Dream Weaver; Ghost Town; Strival for Survival; Leap Leap; Wind Spirit; Gospel Flowers; For Friends.

Personnel

Album information

Title: Live at The Cafe Bohemia | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Giant Step Arts


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