Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

539

Trio Beyond: Saudades

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Looking back has become almost de rigeur lately, and with that the risk of putting legacy groups on a pedestal—being fervently imitative, rather than taking the music to new places. Saudades pays tribute to the late drummer Tony Williams' groundbreaking fusion group Lifetime, and Trio Beyond clearly has the right idea. The spirit and energy which defined Lifetime's brief existence is in full force on this live double-disc set, but Trio Beyond's ability to apply a modernistic bent to Lifetime's raw power makes Saudades more than just a heartfelt tribute. It's one of the best releases of 2006.

Drummer Jack DeJohnette, guitarist John Scofield and keyboardist Larry Goldings ensure that Williams' revolutionary work is given a facelift that's reverent but speaks with its own voice. Culling material from Lifetime's Emergency! (Polydor, 1969) and Turn It Over (Polydor, 1970), and dipping into the repertoire of Lifetime organist Larry Young and iconic bandleader Miles Davis—who first brought Williams to prominence—Trio Beyond's purview is broader than Lifetime's ever was.

DeJohnette and Williams were contemporaries, so there's no denying that cross-pollination occurred. Williams swung hard, and here DeJohnette is as raucous as he's ever sounded, approaching John Coltrane's "Big Nick with a muscularity rarely heard from him these days. Always a malleable player, DeJohnette keeps the time profoundly elusive yet undeniably clear on the ballad "I Fall in Love Too Easily.

A decade his junior, Scofield couldn't help but be influenced by Lifetime guitarist John McLaughlin's seemingly unschooled but, in reality, highly studied approach to aggressive jazz guitar. Scofield has rarely played with this level of energy and angularity, especially when the trio's take on McLaughlin's knotty "Spectrum breaks down mid-stream. With his own harmonic approach, Scofield applies a host of electronic processing to take his instrument to places McLaughlin simply couldn't have visited.

At 38, Larry Goldings is the same age as Young was when he died tragically in 1978. Young's more abstract modality figures more in Goldings' approach than the soul jazz of Jimmy Smith or Jack McDuff.

Reaching Lifetime's sonic levels on "Emergency and "Spectrum, Trio Beyond also shines in its reinvention of material Williams played during his tenure with Miles. "Seven Steps to Heaven opens with a powerful vamp that sets up the familiar theme, played with unexpectedly staggered time and an energy that leads into Scofield's hard-hitting solo, supported by an unrepentant DeJohnette and Goldings' in-the-stratosphere accompaniment.

While Trio Beyond demonstrates more finesse than Lifetime, it would be a mistake to consider this a more conventional group. There's nothing polite about it, and Saudades demonstrates that when you bring together three players with a common goal, the resultant chemistry can make for music that's both visceral and cerebral. With a European tour this year and dates lining up for 2007, it looks like Trio Beyond will be around for awhile—which is good news for those who want to hear three players at the absolute top of their game.

Visit Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield, Larry Goldings and Universal Classics on the web.


Track Listing: CD1: If; As One; Allah Be Praised; Saudades; Pee Wee; Spectrum. CD2: Seven Steps to Heaven; I Fall in Love Too Easily; Love in the Blues; Big Nick; Emergency.

Personnel: Jack DeJohnette: drums; John Scofield: guitars; Larry Goldings: Hammond organ, electric piano, sampler.

Title: Saudades | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: ECM Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Swinging In The Holidays CD/LP/Track Review Swinging In The Holidays
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Cycles of Animation CD/LP/Track Review Cycles of Animation
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Secret Passages CD/LP/Track Review Secret Passages
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Live At The Magic Triangle CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Magic Triangle
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Music in the Room CD/LP/Track Review Music in the Room
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2017
Read Of Light and Shadows CD/LP/Track Review Of Light and Shadows
by Phillip Woolever
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "New Chapter" CD/LP/Track Review New Chapter
by Jim Olin
Published: September 27, 2017
Read "Veterans of Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read "Just Friends" CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 11, 2017
Read "Tribute to Ndouga Dieng" CD/LP/Track Review Tribute to Ndouga Dieng
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 10, 2017
Read "Sing House" CD/LP/Track Review Sing House
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 11, 2017

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!