Approaching five decades of residing in the cutting-edge of modern jazz development, drummer Barry Altschul's influence and legacy as a drummer is rather legendary. Performing on groundbreaking albums with Chick Corea, Anthony Braxton, Dave Holland and many others too numerous in scope to cite, the artist surges onward through the inner-workings of this flexible and dynamic trio. Otherwise, young sax hero Jon Irabagon demonstrates maturity beyond his youth, as eminent bassist Joe Fonda rounds out the trio with a director of operations type stance. Nonetheless, compositional variety is a key aspect on this album that presents innumerable dynamics and shifting tides.
The band pushes the envelope with bop, free-bob, modern mainstream and treks into the outside perimeters of jazz matters. With torrid flows, unanticipated detours and gobs of group-centric synergy, the trio looms as a tightly wound machine, and loosens it all up via spurious improvisational segments and fluid trajectories amid a consortium of cleverly articulated counter-maneuvers.
Irabagon instills pathos atop Fonda's arcing notes on "Martin's Stew," as the drummer smacks the cowbell, peppers the pace, and prompts the band to zoom in for the kill. And they enact a zesty, blues-funk motif during "Papa's Funkish Dance," teeming with peppy dialogues, and impart a 360 degree turnaround on the calypso influenced burner "Oops." Here, Fonda's booming lines generate a fertile underpinning for Altschul's sweeping patterns, including snappy rim-shots and Latin beats that provide a broad spectrum for Irabagon's tuneful, yet gritty phrasings. Other pieces, feature up-tempo balladry, and burning hard bop motifs, often highlighted by the saxophonist's slashing phraseology. Indeed, the trio leaves no stone unturned throughout this largely, mesmeric presentation that bears a profusion of rewarding results.
The 3dom Factor; Martin's Stew; Irina; Papa's Funkish Dance; Be Out S'Cool; Oops; Just A Simple Song; Ictus; Natal Chart; A Drummer's Song.
Barry Altschul: drums; Jon Irabagon: tenor saxophone; Joe Fonda: double bass.
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