All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

145

Trio X: On Tour

By

Sign in to view read count
This is the third release by Joe McPhee, Dominic Duval and Jay Rosen, three virtuosi known collectively as Trio X. It was recorded live in March this year and must set a record for hitting the streets so quickly – all kudos to Cadence Jazz Records. Like previous releases by the group it is an intriguing blend of the lyrical, whether composed or extemporised, and the abstract. Where it differs is in the relationship with the American songbook – this time out we hear ‘My Funny Valentine’, and ‘Send In The Clowns’, as well as ‘Blue Monk’ and more unusually ‘Try A Little Tenderness’, along with McPhee’s classic piece for Ornette Coleman ‘Old Eyes’. McPhee is no stranger to these songs – ‘Valentine’ also appears on the trio’s earlier ‘Watermelon Suite’ on CIMP, while McPhee and Mike Bisio explored the Monk tune on ’Finger Wigglers’, also on CIMP.

Some of the tunes arise as part of the trajectory of the group improvisation, almost as if they have been uncovered during performance and then examined to see what they bring to the table. ‘Monkin’ Around’ begins very quietly with breath sounds through McPhee’s trumpet, before group interplay climaxes with a riffing trumpet. McPhee then switches to tenor but maintains the same riff, before uncovering ‘Blue Monk’ with the rhythm section falling in behind.

‘Try A Little Tenderness’ begins with understated bass electronically manipulated, before developing into a three way conversation with tenor and percussion. McPhee delicately states the theme and sticks fairly closely to it during the ensuing group improvisation. The piece builds, with Rosen suggesting some march rhythms before winding down to the dénouement with arco bass and the final affectionate theme statement. Similarly on ‘My Funny Valentine’, McPhee tenderly caresses the tune, at first on tenor, then on trumpet. The piece starts with an energetic percussion solo, with shouts and rhythms beaten out on the body, before kicking in with a fast rhythmic backdrop over which McPhee sets out the theme.

‘Trail of Tears’, dedicated to Jim Pepper (a musician who fused his Native American heritage with jazz), opens with a sparse tenor and bass duet, with McPhee teasing out harmonics and whistles from his horn, before building into a storm force trio improvisation. Snare drum waves batter a whirling bass and electronics hurricane overlain with tenor cries and foghorn honks. The fury ends suddenly and leads into a quiet passage where the tune of ‘Send in the Clowns’ makes an incongruous appearance. Duval sets up a melodic riff from the kernel of the melody and McPhee mutates this into an ominous tenor riff which heralds another group improv with a sublime passage of harrowing tenor multiphonics. The anthemic piece closes with a stately revisiting of the theme over arco bass.

‘Old Eyes’ begins with a loud drum solo which turns into a funky drum and bass boogaloo. McPhee’s tenor lays out the beautiful theme over the rhythmic quilt, before beginning an impassioned extemporisation which builds to high register squeals and a breathy conclusion, not a million miles from where this fine recording started. Bob Rusch, in his liners to the groups first disc, characterised Trio X as the mellow avant-garde, mellow and soulful. That neatly sums up this excellent 73 minute taste of Trio X live on tour.


Track Listing: Monkin

Personnel: Joe McPhee

Title: On Tour | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Cadence Jazz Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
DVD/Film Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Live in Vilnius

Live in Vilnius

NoBusiness Records
2009

buy
Roulette @ Location One

Roulette @ Location...

Cadence Jazz Records
2007

buy
 

On Tour

Cadence Jazz Records
2001

buy

Related Articles

Read Shades CD/LP/Track Review
Shades
by Doug Collette
Published: October 20, 2018
Read Putumayo Presents: Ska Around the World CD/LP/Track Review
Putumayo Presents: Ska Around the World
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 20, 2018
Read Pattern Recognition CD/LP/Track Review
Pattern Recognition
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 20, 2018
Read Just This CD/LP/Track Review
Just This
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 20, 2018
Read Live at Sowieso CD/LP/Track Review
Live at Sowieso
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 20, 2018
Read Displaced Diaspora CD/LP/Track Review
Displaced Diaspora
by Chris May
Published: October 19, 2018
Read "Live!" CD/LP/Track Review Live!
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 19, 2018
Read "In This Together" CD/LP/Track Review In This Together
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 28, 2018
Read "Wild Is The Wind" CD/LP/Track Review Wild Is The Wind
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2018
Read "Some Other Time/Slow Café" CD/LP/Track Review Some Other Time/Slow Café
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 28, 2017
Read "Brightbird" CD/LP/Track Review Brightbird
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 19, 2018