Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Trio 3 + Jason Moran: Refraction - Breakin' Glass

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
If ever there was a threesome that hankered after being a quartet, it's Trio 3. Though working as a self-contained unit since 1986, pianists have often supplemented the core triumvirate, and in fact one has augmented each of the group's previous three recordings. Now Jason Moran fills the piano stool on Refraction—Breakin' Glass, adding to an already heady brew. From bassist Reggie Workman's youthful stint with John Coltrane, to drummer Andrew Cyrille's 11-year tenure with piano iconoclast Cecil Taylor, via saxophonist Oliver Lake's pioneering work as a founder member of the illustrious World Saxophone Quartet, their experience touches on many of the major innovations over the last 50 years. That makes Moran a good match: he studied with three great teachers—Jaki Byard, Andrew Hill, and Muhal Richard Abrams—but has found his own critically-acclaimed path, strong on rhythmic ingenuity.

In the summer of 2012, Moran joined the group for a week long residency at NYC's Birdland before going into the studio. That explains the tightness which pervades the ten cuts which constitute the program. It's a collective effort. No-one rests on their laurels. Each contributes tunes, which cover a wide stylistic spectrum, creating a winning mix of free form abstraction, kinetic riffs, and inventive interplay, studded with biting solos. Part of the joy of Trio 3 lies in the way even the relatively straightforward numbers feel on the edge of falling apart in a welter of delicious dissonance and arhythmic clatter, but never quite do. Case in point is Workman's classic "Summit Conference": it opens in a swirling rubato from which the theme emerges out of nowhere, before parting for a series of adventurous features. Likewise on Lake's "All Decks," time expands and contracts, but even when piano and alto saxophone lock, Cyrille combines grace and power in an unfettered commentary.

On the title track, they pull off no mean feat in marrying Moran's ominous lop-sided vamp with Lake's recitation of a wry poem about his mother's drive to make good. Unlike many combinations of jazz and verse, it bears repeated listening, due to the reedman's matter-of-fact delivery and the essential human truth it conveys, not to mention his incisive squealing alto. Other highlights are too many to recount, but include Workman's careening woody bowing on his lilting "Cycle III," Cyrille's throbbing tattoo on "Listen" which sets the scene for a call and response, presaging a procession of supercharged solos, and his propulsive homage to the late saxophonist David S. Ware on the surging "High Priest." After such a successful amalgam, ranking alongside gems like Time Being (Intakt, 2006) and The Berne Concert (Intakt, 2009), it should be no surprise that Trio 3 hooked up with yet another rising star of the keyboard in Vijay Iyer at Birdland in July 2013. There may yet be more collaborative entries to look forward to in the band's discography.

Track Listing: Refraction – Breakin' Glass; Cycle III; Luthers Lament; AM 2 1/2; Summit Conference; All Decks; Listen; Vamp; Foot Under Foot; High Priest.

Personnel: Oliver Lake: alto and sopranino saxophone, voice; Reggie Workman: bass; Andrew Cyrille: drums, voice; Jason Moran: piano.

Title: Refraction - Breakin' Glass | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Intakt Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Vilddjur CD/LP/Track Review
Vilddjur
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 11, 2018
Read Lines in Sand CD/LP/Track Review
Lines in Sand
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 11, 2018
Read Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It CD/LP/Track Review
Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 11, 2018
Read The Brave CD/LP/Track Review
The Brave
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 11, 2018
Read Strings 1 CD/LP/Track Review
Strings 1
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 11, 2018
Read Pillars CD/LP/Track Review
Pillars
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 10, 2018
Read "Full Circle" CD/LP/Track Review Full Circle
by Mackenzie Horne
Published: December 3, 2018
Read "Blood & Bone" CD/LP/Track Review Blood & Bone
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 5, 2018
Read "Malita-Malika" CD/LP/Track Review Malita-Malika
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 5, 2018
Read "Flying" CD/LP/Track Review Flying
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 19, 2018
Read "That's a Computer" CD/LP/Track Review That's a Computer
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 7, 2018
Read "Trane Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Trane Stories
by Rex Butters
Published: November 9, 2018