Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
189

Fonda/Altschul/Bang: Live At The Iron Works, Vancouver

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count Views
Fonda/Altschul/Bang: Live At The Iron Works, Vancouver There aren't too many violin/bass/drums trios out there, and while the live setting might not be the ideal format in which to capture the music of this particular threesome, there's enough here to provoke the hope that this isn't just a one-off venture.

The moments when the trio thinks as one, notably after Altschul's four-minute solo introduction on "Tune For Barry," are countered in the negative sense by the music's longueurs, where at least one of the participants gives the impression of waiting for inspiration to strike while the other two accompany him until it does. This is arguably a problem inherent in the making of live recordings, even though there is much here to lend substance to the notion that the trio is the ideally sized unit for this semi-free idiom.

The fact that Billy Bang's violin will always have roots in a tradition that goes way beyond his musical preferences lends the music a rarefied air, as on "FAB," where the trio displays a cohesiveness that works against the idea that this was a pickup group. Both Fonda and Altschul also have pedigrees not lacking in depth, and as a section they serve notice of the fact that they are a rhythmic cartel of the first order. This is arguably best exemplified by Fonda's "Song For My Mother," where, after a lengthy solo introduction by the composer, they show an extraordinary aptitude for rhythmic nuance, the likes of which simply isn't acquired overnight.

On the trio composition "For Frank Lowe," however, the ear yearns for the presence of that underrated musician's tenor sax as a means for projecting greater tonal colour, if nothing else. The piece might almost serve as a springboard for group improvisation, as opposed to the theme-solos-theme routine, and though the rendition here is obviously heartfelt, I hope that this will not be the only time it makes it to record.

All in all, the division is roughly sixty-forty in favour of the music transcending the contention that you had to be there to get the most out of this group's efforts, which makes the thought that this might be the only time they record live together even more frustrating than usual.


Track Listing: FAB; For Frank Lowe; B.B.; Tune For Barry; For Don Cherry; Song For My Mother.

Personnel: Billy Bang: violin; Joe Fonda: bass; Barry Altschul: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Konnex Records | Style: Modern Jazz


CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
Multiple Reviews
Read more articles
Trio 3D
Trio 3D
Konnex Records
2013
buy
Lower East Side Blues
Lower East Side Blues
Porter Records
2009
buy
A Drop Of Water
A Drop Of Water
Konnex Records
2008
buy
Live At The Iron Works, Vancouver
Live At The Iron...
Konnex Records
2006
buy
Forever Real
Forever Real
482 Music
2005
buy
FAB: Transforming the Space
FAB: Transforming the...
CIMP Records
2004
buy
Charlie Haden Charlie Haden
bass, acoustic
William Parker William Parker
bass, acoustic
Thomas Chapin Thomas Chapin
saxophone
Fred Anderson Fred Anderson
saxophone
Art Ensemble Of Chicago Art Ensemble Of Chicago
band/orchestra

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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