All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

297

Thomas Chapin: Ride

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Recorded live at the Netherlands' North Sea Jazz Festival in 1995, Ride captures Thomas Chapin's legendary trio at the height of its powers. Sharing the bill with such notable masters as Jackie Mclean, Roy Haynes, David Murray, Fred Hopkins and Andrew Cyrille inspired the trio to play with extra enthusiasm. This seven-track program, consisting of the late NYC multi-instrumentalist's most memorable tunes, features some of the trio's most energetic performances, making it one of their most engaging live recordings.

Chapin briefly plays sopranino sax and flute, but he tends to favor his trusty alto sax. Two long-term partners, bassist Mario Pavone and drummer Michael Sarin, push and pull at these structures with knowing restraint. Each an inventive and sympathetic accompanist, they are given ample solo time, but this is definitely Chapin's show, and he never sounded more assured than he does here. Playing in the company of peers and idols, the trio pulls out all the stops on a set that rages full-speed ahead, with few stops along the way.

"Anima" and "Night Bird Song" are extended improvisations with epic dynamic sweep and melodic development. "Bad Birdie" and "Changes Two Tires" are shorter, burning up-tempo pieces; "Pet Scorpion" is heard here for the first time on record. Animated and bright, full of hairpin turns at a breakneck pace, this is an excellent addition to Chapin's songbook.

The set's only detour arrives in "Aeolus," a showpiece accentuating Chapin's euphonious flute variations. But the calm only arrives after the storm. Opening with a flutter-tongued cadenza full of hoarse multiphonics and hair-raising screams, Chapin takes the innovations of Rahsaan Roland Kirk a step beyond. The trio's closing cover of the Beatles "Ticket To Ride" is a rousing sendup of a familiar theme, complete with a brash punk rock attitude.

A master technician and creative melodist, Chapin was taken from us far too soon when he succumbed to leukemia in 1998 at age 40. Numerous saxophonists still reference his signature biting timbre and frenetic linear attack. Though loosely considered a "free" player, he was far more interested in lyrical development and rhythmic structure. Hearing him weave through these pieces, spinning minor melodic variations over and over again, reinforces his stature as one of the past century's master improvisers.

Ride is overflowing with some of Chapin's finest playing on record. It's an excellent entry point for novices to discover one of the best jazz trios of the late 20th Century.


Track Listing: Anima; Pet Scorpion; Night Bird Song; Aeolus; Bad Birdie; Changes Two Tires; Ticket To Ride.

Personnel: Thomas Chapin: alto saxophone, sopranino saxophone, flute; Mario pavone: bass; Michael Sarin: drums.

Title: Ride | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Playscape Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Bad Birdie

Bad Birdie

Thomas Chapin
Ride

DVD/Film Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go

Playscape Recordings
2016

buy
 

Never Let Me Go

Playscape Recordings
2013

buy
Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go

Playscape Recordings
2012

buy
Ride

Ride

Playscape Recordings
2007

buy
Ride

Ride

Playscape Recordings
2006

buy
Toronto 1997: A Suite for Thomas Chapin

Toronto 1997: A Suite...

Boxholder Records
2004

buy

Related Articles

Read Home Boy, Sister Out CD/LP/Track Review
Home Boy, Sister Out
by Chris May
Published: July 22, 2018
Read Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album Deluxe Edition CD/LP/Track Review
Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2018
Read The Literature CD/LP/Track Review
The Literature
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2018
Read A History Of Nothing CD/LP/Track Review
A History Of Nothing
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 21, 2018
Read Turbamulta CD/LP/Track Review
Turbamulta
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2018
Read 3 CD/LP/Track Review
3
by Jim Worsley
Published: July 21, 2018
Read "Fred Hersch Trio: Live in Europe" CD/LP/Track Review Fred Hersch Trio: Live in Europe
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 26, 2018
Read "Journey to a New World" CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "Tensegridad" CD/LP/Track Review Tensegridad
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 29, 2017
Read "The Willisau Concert" CD/LP/Track Review The Willisau Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: October 24, 2017
Read "From Silence to Somewhere" CD/LP/Track Review From Silence to Somewhere
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 21, 2018
Read "Glassbath" CD/LP/Track Review Glassbath
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 6, 2018