My dictionary defines a shrike as one of a type of birds "that have a strong notched bill hooked at the tip, feed chiefly on insects, and often impale their prey on thorns." Now it's nearly certain that Australian trumpeter Scott Tinkler had the cry of the bird (and not its lifestyle) in mind when he titled his third trio record. But there's also something sharp and predatory about Shrike Like. The stark black-and-white cover of the disc features Tinkler perched on a tree branch, birdlike, scanning his surroundings.
Unlike most trios, Tinkler's trumpet/bass/drums setup operates with more spontaneity than arrangement; more pulse and flow than notation; and more sudden swooping changes than predictable declensions. While each tune tends to operate within a specific groove defined by bassist Adam Armstrong and drummer Simon Barker, even the rhythm section turns on a dime, edging back and forth between funk and swing and free playing. Shrike Like features aggressive, forward-looking improvisation with an edge. In many ways reminiscent of Ron Miles's '96 record My Cruel Heart, this disc examines the many approaches a trumpeter can use to sail through levels of rhythmic foundation, co-evolving with it along the way. Tinkler's virtuostic playing relies upon extended techniques such as false fingering, stop-tonguing, and multiphonics, though he also flies on the straight and narrow when necessary. Slow-moving insects beware: this shrike does not hestitate to strike.
I love jazz because it is in my blood. It is the only original American art form. It is sacred. The greatest musicians are jazz artists.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 listening to my father's records of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young.
I met Sonny Stitt, Wayne Shorter, Branford Marsalis, Joey Calderazzo, Michael Brecker, Cannonball Adderley, Walter Booker, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, George Benson, Mike
Stern, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Harper, Skip Hadden, Charlie Haden.
The best show I ever attended was Joe Lovano with Soundprints at the Wexner Center in Columbus Ohio in 2014.
The first jazz record I bought was Miles Smiles.