142

Chris Crocco: The Chris Crocco Trio +

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Chris Crocco: The Chris Crocco Trio + What makes music fluid? Is it based on smooth transitions from section-to-section in each piece? The consistent flow of ideas from each individual artist involved in the music making process? The ability of a group to form a bond that allows them to travel along the same routes with simpatico sensibilities? The music of guitarist Chris Crocco's Fluid Trio measures up to any of these standards, and easily lives up to its name. Surprisingly, the "+" in the title is actually bassist Peter Slavov, and not saxophonist George Garzone, who appears on just a few tracks. Crocco's debut was a bass-less outing that featured Garzone and drummer par excellence Francisco Mela, both of whom return here, but Slavov is a steady presence on The Chris Crocco Trio +, whereas Garzone is used more sparingly throughout.

Crocco and company don't have a set stylistic agenda, and each track has distinctive qualities that set it apart from the rest. Plaintive balladry—with the disarming Garzone gliding on an aural featherbed—shows up a few tracks into the program with "Silvia," but Crocco starts thing off in a more excited state. "Avenge" is a no-holds-barred burner that begins with an etude-like saxophone-guitar line, but the soloing proves to be of greater interest. "Heaven" follows, built on a slow, strolling swing with Mela and Crocco trading fours toward the end.

Despite plenty on which to chew with all three of these tracks, the real magic begins with "When It Is When," introduced by a pulsing pattern and a unique, funky and immediately present exoticism. Crocco delivers some intriguing, Middle Eastern-tinged guitar lines, while the drumming is beyond category. Mela is magnificent, whether conjuring uniquely trashy cymbal sounds or delivering mind-boggling, heart-pounding solo work over a vamp. Similar fireworks are present on "Metal"—a guitar-drum duo creation which features some of Crocco's most devilish playing, as both men deliver mercurial, magical musical performances.

"Trial of Time" is the album's most straightforward jazz vehicle, turned to solid gold with Garzone's performance, but Crocco proves to be more than capable when the saxophonist—and, for that matter, the rest of the musicians—is removed from the equation. The penultimate performance on this album begins with a minute-long guitar introduction, and Crocco is all class. When the rest of the trio joins him, "My Own Personal Wake" turns into a slow, country-influenced number in the vein of Bill Frisell. Crocco turns toward a more introspective sound, leaning toward Appalachian Americana crossed with Irish balladry, on the exquisitely beautiful "My Peace," which pairs him up with Slavov and closes the album. No single word can classify each of these songs, but every performance is fluid in every sense of the word.


Track Listing: Avenge; Heaven; Silvia; When It Is When; Trial Of Time; What It Is; Spice Mine; Metal; My Own Personal Wake; My Peace.

Personnel: Chris Crocco: guitar; Peter Slavov: bass; Francisco Mela: drums; George Garzone: tenor saxophone (1, 3, 5).

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Panola County Spirit" CD/LP/Track Review Panola County Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: March 4, 2016
Read "Transcience" CD/LP/Track Review Transcience
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 14, 2016
Read "Cinema Spiral" CD/LP/Track Review Cinema Spiral
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 31, 2016
Read "Arc" CD/LP/Track Review Arc
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 13, 2016
Read "Expansions  Live" CD/LP/Track Review Expansions Live
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Nine Thoughts For One Word" CD/LP/Track Review Nine Thoughts For One Word
by John Ephland
Published: October 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!