171

James Finn Trio: Plaza de Toros

Jeff Stockton By

Sign in to view read count
James Finn Trio: Plaza de Toros Last year, after a stint in Ben Harper's band, tenor man James Finn sprang onto the jazz scene at the age of nearly forty as a fully-formed free improviser, with a trio completed by bassist Dominic Duval and drummer Whit Dickey. Opening the Gates (Cadence Records) was quickly followed by Faith in a Seed (CIMP), the drum chair now filled by veteran Warren Smith. These recordings picked up where late-period Coltrane left off, and Finn's playing is characterized by nearly continuous forward momentum and a charismatic presence, bolstered by fresh material and the leader's purposeful seriousness. Plaza de Toros, his third release in quick succession, represents in sound the stages of a bullfight. With its Latin-tinged melodies, the comparison now runs closer to Ivo Perelman, and while Finn's tone is a little thinner than Perelman's, Finn's conception is arguably more focused and powerful.

"Toreo de Capa opens with the swagger of the matador, Finn playing nearly in the range of a trumpet, soloing vibrantly on top of Smith's dramatically rolling drums and splashing cymbals. Finn's vibrato spins out into overblowing on the title composition, which serves as an overture to the confrontation, contrasting aggressive squeals with repose. Duval (also the bassist in Perelman's recent trios) lends his characteristic arco style to dialogues with Finn on "The Phantom Bull of Seville and the whispery "El Tercio de Varas. As the drama approaches finality, Smith punctuates the air on "La Estocada and his extended percussion solo on "Toro Bravo relieves the tension, before Finn's concluding fanfare clears it away.

The plot of Plaza de Toros unfurls like a matador's cape and conveys the pride, dignity, ceremony, and style of the bullfight. In the midst of the violence, "Eyes of Angelina is a relatively brief lyrical passage that simply sings. Perhaps there is more of the Gentle Side of James Finn. In the meantime, he is a free jazz talent to be reckoned with.


Track Listing: 1 Toreo de Capa; 2 Plaza de Toros; 3 The Phantom Bull of Seville; 4 El Tercio de Varas; 5 Eyes of Angelina; 6 El Tercio de Vanderillas; 7 El Tercio de Muleta; 8 La Estocada; 9 Toro Bravo

Personnel: James Finn, tenor saxophone; Dominic Duval, bass; Warren Smith, drums

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "The Other Shore" CD/LP/Track Review The Other Shore
by John Sharpe
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "Sunday Night At The Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review Sunday Night At The Vanguard
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 18, 2016
Read "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" CD/LP/Track Review Let's Call the Whole Thing Off
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "Gin Fizz Fandango" CD/LP/Track Review Gin Fizz Fandango
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 20, 2016
Read "Algorithmic Society" CD/LP/Track Review Algorithmic Society
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Simplicity" CD/LP/Track Review Simplicity
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 6, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!