29

Thomas Borgmann Trio: One For Cisco

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
This limited edition LP documents a collectively birthed exploration spread across the two sides by the visiting German pair of reedman Thomas Borgmann and long time associate drummer Willi Kellers, who team up with NYC bassist Max Johnson. The concert took place as part of the New York Tenor Saxophone Festival at Ibeam in 2015 organized by Cisco Bradley of Jazz Right Now fame, hence the title. The trio constitutes a favored format for Borgmann. He's helmed two killer outfits in the past, firstly with bassist Wilber Morris and the wonderful drummer Denis Charles, then latterly with Morris and drummer Reggie Nicholson, until the bassist's untimely demise in 2002.

The title of a previous Borgmann album by the former triumvirate -Organic (The Lotus Sound, 1998) -perfectly sums up the gradual evolution championed by this threesome, from relaxed conversational interplay to something more urgent and propulsive. Borgmann carves out his insistent motivic and timbral variations with a broad breathy vibrato. However far out he goes, with falsetto asides and false-fingered bleating, there remains a melodic core to his work. One of the masters of European free jazz drumming, Kellers rarely settles into a regular rhythm, but there's always a pulse. His repeated phrases mesh well with the hornman, while the steady contrapuntal stream from Johnson's big-toned bass means he fits right in.

On tenor Borgmann plays as if he has some old spiritual at the back of his mind, never explicitly stated, but always informing his choices. Once he switches to soprano, he embarks on a serpentine excursion abetted by a thorny backing until he unhurriedly stills to a low key whistle. Well-versed in long form improvisation, the trio navigate such transitions adroitly, stoking tension only to plot release. After a squealing finale comes a gentle coda for delicately thrumming bass and the leader's toy melodica, to which Kellers adds a calypso lilt to close on an unexpected note. While not yet the equal of the aforementioned units (more time might be needed for that), they've set out a strong manifesto and an argument for sustained collaboration.

Track Listing: One for Cisco (Part 1); One for Cisco (Part 2).

Personnel: Thomas Borgmann: soprano, tenor saxophones, toy melodica; Max Johnson: bass; Willi Kellers: drums, voice.

Title: One For Cisco | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Déjà Vu CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts CD/LP/Track Review Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Two in a Box CD/LP/Track Review Two in a Box
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Discussions CD/LP/Track Review Discussions
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Steal Your Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Steal Your Heart
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 2, 2017
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 7, 2017
Read "Ray Charles Orchestra: Zurich 1961-Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series, Vol. 41" CD/LP/Track Review Ray Charles Orchestra: Zurich 1961-Swiss Radio Days Jazz...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 8, 2016
Read "Do Not Disturb" CD/LP/Track Review Do Not Disturb
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 26, 2016
Read "The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure" CD/LP/Track Review The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Domains" CD/LP/Track Review Domains
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 13, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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