177

Harriet Tubman: Prototype

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
The second ‘strange meeting’ between the members of the thumping power trio known as Harriet Tubman was recorded live in New York, Finland, and The Netherlands. Why bassist Melvin Gibbs choose to reincarnate his previous band Power Tools can be answered by noting the sales of powered amps and woofers over the past decade. Gibbs, guitarist Bill Frisell, and drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson conspired in the late 1980s to play noisy loud power-jazz. Gibbs learned it from Sonny Sharrock, played it with R S Jackson. Frisell, new to NYC, was gigging with Vernon Reid and soon to start Naked City along with John Zorn. We know where Frisell is today, mellowed into a folk-jazz that fits his soul. Shannon Jackson may (rumors abound) have retired from performing and that leaves Gibbs. The one time bassist for Defunkt, Arto Lindsey, John Zorn and muscle head rocker Henry Rollins just had to revisit these roots.

He enlisted drummer J. T. Lewis who has played with everyone from Tina Turner to Henry Threadgill and guitarist Brandon Ross who has recorded with Butch Morris, Cassandra Wilson, and Gibb’s Cold Sweat (James Brown) project.

The music is a viscous mix of pounding bass, borderline distortion and whirling drums. The passive parts anticipate the thunder to come and Gibbs can bring the noise. Lewis is a multidirectional drummer, not forced into simple grooves or single thoughts. His clever beats keep this affair on the adventurous side. Ross’ guitar (to his credit) doesn’t get caught up in playing follow the noise. He weaves interesting lines above, behind, but rarely in conjunction with the powerhouse Gibbs. This music will move you, although dancing to it might be risky business.

Track Listing: Of Passage; Slide Rule; My New Puppy; There Goes The Neighborhood; The Prototype; Adapted; Chief Of Police; Frozen Fire; Wild Seed; Where We Stand.

Personnel: Brandon Ross

Title: Prototype | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Avant

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Year in Review
Album Reviews
Website News
Album Reviews
Read more articles
The Terror End of Beauty

The Terror End of...

Sunnyside Records
2019

buy
Araminta

Araminta

Sunnyside Records
2017

buy
Ascension

Ascension

Sunnyside Records
2011

buy
Prototype

Prototype

Avant
2000

buy
 

I Am A Man

Sunnyside Communications
1998

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Aug9Fri
Harriet Tubman
Band On The Wall
Manchester, UK

Related Articles

Read Phalanx Ambassadors Album Reviews
Phalanx Ambassadors
By Troy Dostert
June 26, 2019
Read When Will The Blues Leave Album Reviews
When Will The Blues Leave
By John Ephland
June 26, 2019
Read Nothing Here Belongs Album Reviews
Nothing Here Belongs
By Jerome Wilson
June 26, 2019
Read Gods Of Apollo Album Reviews
Gods Of Apollo
By Roger Farbey
June 26, 2019
Read Migrations Album Reviews
Migrations
By Dan McClenaghan
June 25, 2019
Read Samba Azul Album Reviews
Samba Azul
By Mackenzie Horne
June 25, 2019
Read Blue Waltz - Live at Gustavs Album Reviews
Blue Waltz - Live at Gustavs
By Jakob Baekgaard
June 25, 2019