All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

110

Rick McLaughlin Trio: Study of Light

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
It’s not chamber music just because you play it without a drummer; it could be jazz even though it was written by Ravel. That statement might be too long to be a title for bassist Rick McLaughlin's new trio disc, but it certainly is accurate. McLaughlin employs two fellow members of Boston’s Either/Orchestra, pianist Greg Burk and saxophonist Jeremy Udden, to realize this recording.

The disc opens with the difficult “Assev Vif - Très Rhythmé.” Ravel’s piece for string quartet establishes the band’s credentials before they open the piece to a bit of "classical improvising." I suppose Mr. Ravel might object, but their meandering toward a deeper meaning here seems to be fair play.

By the end of the disc they come full circle to the jazz standard “Without A Song” and Ellington’s “Isfahan.” McLaughlin anchors both tracks with a solid walking bass in what is standard time. His playing comes from the lyrical Ron Carter tradition of classical jazz bassists.

What distinguishes this recording is the simplicity these musicians consent to serve. Pianist Greg Burk whose prior recording Checking Out showcased a variety of piano styles, approaches this recording as a team player, keeping the frills and trills to a minimum. So does saxophonist Jeremy Udden, playing the jazz straight and the semi-classical with an improvised flourish.

Favorite tracks here are the sweet Weber piece “Colours Of Chloë,” and “O.P.” for Oscar Pettiford, where all due attention remains focused on the coolness of Maughlin’s walking bass.

The concept for the album comes together best on McLaughlin’s “Marina,” written for his wife. It opens, as he notes, with a nod to Bach, before shifting into a Latin theme. Udden’s prodding soprano saxophone responds to every note of Burk’s South American vacation. The song is gently lifted ever higher by the trio as it resolves back toward Bach and McLaughlin’s repeated bass line.


Track Listing: Ravel String Quartet "Assez vif, tres rhythme" (Ravel, arr. McLaughlin) Ink (Greg Burk) Marina (Rick McLaughlin) OP (Sam Jones) Blink to Be (Greg Burk) Delicate (Rick McLaughlin) Colors of Chloe (Eberhard Weber) Isfahan (Duke Ellington) Without a Song (Eliscu/Rose/Youmans)

Personnel: Rick McLaughlin: bass; Greg Burk: piano; Jeremy Udden: saxophones.

Title: Study of Light | Year Released: 2003

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read My Singing Fingers CD/LP/Track Review
My Singing Fingers
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2018
Read Ain't It Grand? CD/LP/Track Review
Ain't It Grand?
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 25, 2018
Read If Not Now, When? CD/LP/Track Review
If Not Now, When?
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 25, 2018
Read Perfectly Unhappy CD/LP/Track Review
Perfectly Unhappy
by Gareth Thompson
Published: May 25, 2018
Read Sorrows & Triumphs CD/LP/Track Review
Sorrows & Triumphs
by Jerome Wilson
Published: May 25, 2018
Read Half Light CD/LP/Track Review
Half Light
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 24, 2018
Read "Vortex" CD/LP/Track Review Vortex
by John Kelman
Published: May 12, 2018
Read "The Spirit Of Piteşti" CD/LP/Track Review The Spirit Of Piteşti
by John Sharpe
Published: October 25, 2017
Read "Making Other Arrangements" CD/LP/Track Review Making Other Arrangements
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 25, 2018
Read "More Powerful" CD/LP/Track Review More Powerful
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 6, 2017
Read "The Big Beat" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Beat
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Solano Canyon" CD/LP/Track Review Solano Canyon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 23, 2018