450

FAB Trio: Live in Amsterdam

By

Sign in to view read count
FAB Trio: Live in Amsterdam If three previous live albums weren't proof enough, Live in Amsterdam underscores how the FAB Trio thrives on the high-wire act of playing in front of an audience. Bassist Joe Fonda, drummer Barry Altschul and violinist Billy Bang treat the crowd at the Bimhuis Jazz Club to some excellent avant-garde virtuosity that, although lengthy and involved, is neither overlong nor self-indulgent.

The trio, in various permutations, artfully blends free and straight-ahead elements to create ambitious, complex tunes. "Fabmusic Opening," for example, begins as an extended, high energy duet between Altschul and Fonda; after Bang's cyclonic solo, the band builds off his energy beautifully and ends with a playful stop-time coda centered on Altschul's nimble percussion. On the epic "Go East/Da Bang" Fonda's bass alternates between a robust pizzicato and an empathetic arco, the sophistication and power of Altschul's drumming here recalling the genius of Elvin Jones. Bang, however, is dominant, his violin invoking the sound of mischievous laughter or the growl of a buzz saw or hitting high notes at canine frequencies, walking the fine line between musicianship and wizardry. The trio shows an even greater range on "Fabmusic Continuation/Spirits Entering." Initially Bang plays a quaint pizzicato to complement Fonda's mournful bowing, then the song explodes into bop territory. Fonda puts down the bow and plucks demonically, Bang squeals and screeches like a madman and Altschul adds startling accents and polyrhythms to his already stellar timekeeping.

The interplay throughout Live in Amsterdam is peerless. Even if Fonda, Altschul and Bang seem to play independently at times, they've worked together so much that they're always in sync and act on each other's thoughts immediately. This simpatico gives their sound an enviable seamlessness that's a pleasure to hear. The music is excellent and the three veterans' exhilarating adventurism and disregard for conventional musical boundaries results in an enthralling document.

Track Listing: Fabmusic Opening; Go East/Da Bang; Fabmusic Continuation/Spirts Entering.

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

Title: Live in Amsterdam | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Porter Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Sonder CD/LP/Track Review Sonder
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Putting Off Death CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Live at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival / Matt Savage: Piano Voyages" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival /...
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "In Times Like These" CD/LP/Track Review In Times Like These
by James Nadal
Published: May 13, 2017
Read "Point and Line" CD/LP/Track Review Point and Line
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 7, 2017
Read "Big Wheel Live" CD/LP/Track Review Big Wheel Live
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 17, 2016
Read "Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play...
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "Dancing Our Way To Death" CD/LP/Track Review Dancing Our Way To Death
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 16, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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