Home » Jazz Articles » Bob Gluck Trio: Returning

189
Album Review

Bob Gluck Trio: Returning

By

Sign in to view read count
Bob Gluck Trio: Returning
The piano trio, in one form or another, has been a jazz staple since the 1930s, and consequently skews toward the familiar. Fortunately, there are those atypical artists who invite a deeper dive for the uninhibited. Nothing could be more challenging, interesting and listenable than the music Bob Gluck creates within that formation. Like his Something Quiet (FMR Records 2010), Gluck's Returning is a brilliant collection of uniquely modern jazz. Throughout, it is a passionate and riveting performance with rhythmic support and outstanding solo work from ground-breaking bassist Michael Bisio and inspired drummer Dean Sharp.

The opening track confirms that Gluck is in the league of postmodern innovators like Paul Bley, Ran Blake and Cecil Taylor. "Lifeline" is as adventurous as it is entrancing, with a clear, almost serene, melody surrounded by a good deal of improvisation. The title track is a small epic of shape-shifting creativity driven by Sharp's astonishing array of tones, using every part of the kit. Bisio has two outstanding solos here: the first pizzicato treatment is broken up with Gluck's fine solo, followed by Bisio's arco return. This is a big, inventive, complex piece that finally drifts out so unassumingly that it demands to be replayed.

No-one in Gluck's trio fades into the background for very long; there is always a high level of engagement and contribution. Solo and group expressions can explode in untamed shouts then recover in affecting phrases of anticipation. "By a Field" opens with a balladic solo from Gluck before Sharp literally chimes in. and the pianist finds his way to a brief, classically influenced passage. At that point, things get considerably freer. In the midst of these time and theme changes, Bisio has made his way in with a deep, woody backdrop that evolves into a mesmeric solo. The piece closes much as it began, with subdued support from Bisio.

The collection concludes with "Something Quiet," a piece related in name only to Gluck's previous recording. It is a meditative and beautiful work that serves as a cool down after the challenge. Gluck masters the balance of structure and improvisation throughout this suite of very forward-thinking pieces. As texturally different as the pieces are, there is a seamless narrative flow from one to another. Each of the nine original compositions breathes with an edgy creativity. Gluck, Bisio and Sharp have produced a truly unique collection of music on Returning.

Track Listing

Lifeline; Returning; That's All You Got; By a Field; There's No There There; Vertigal; Something Quiet.

Personnel

Bob Gluck: piano; Michael Bisio: bass; Dean Sharp: drums.

Album information

Title: Returning | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: FMR Records


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album

Tags

More

Spirituality
Courtney Pine
Speakers In The House
The Headhunters
Grow
Kaja Draksler, Susana Santos Silva
Live From the Heat Dome
Thomas Marriott

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.