All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

4

BassDrumBone: The Long Road

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Trombonist Ray Anderson, bassist Mark Helias, and drummer Gerry Hemingway have been performing together as BassDrumBone for almost four decades. The Long Road, the trio's tenth release, was recorded in celebration of the ensemble's forty-year anniversary, and is the group's most wide-ranging and definitive effort to date. In honor of this auspicious occasion, they invited esteemed tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano and vanguard pianist Jason Moran to sit in on a handful of tunes, which reveals the unit's sterling rapport, as well as their adaptability when collaborating with other artists.

There is no established leader in this trio of equals; though Anderson's expressive trombone is an obvious focal point, he regularly plays a supportive role, enabling Helias and Hemingway opportunities to take the lead. Technically, their roles are interchangeable, making each member equally responsible for providing melody, harmony and rhythm, in much the same way that each contributes to the band's songbook. Despite subtle compositional variety, which ranges from riotous marches and funky grooves to expressionist blues and dulcet ballads, these swinging numbers exude the sort of stylistic consistency born of longstanding camaraderie.

Anderson's vivid tone and mercurial phrasing elevates the proceedings. Whether unleashing tortuous chromatic runs, avant-gutbucket smears, or plangent cries, his optimistic deportment always shines. Helias holds down the bottom end commendably; whether bowing reverberating arco or thrumming deep pizzicato, his plummy lines provide his bandmates with an elastic but reliable foundation. Hemingway's gift for penning catchy themes parallels his robust melodic approach behind a trap set, which enables intricate triadic exchanges among the group.

Lovano parleys gracefully with Anderson, adding bluesy soulfulness to the cuts he appears on, while Moran imbues his features with a singular harmonic sophistication, although ultimately, it's the near clairvoyant interplay of the core trio that's most impressive. The double-disc collection ends with a half hour of material taped live in concert, capturing BassDrumBone's innate chemistry at its most exploratory, expanding upon basic song forms with a carefree élan common to experienced veterans.

Four decades on and still going strong, this venerable group, comprised of established musicians who share aesthetic outlooks and common histories, is something of a rarity by contemporary standards. Richly varied, The Long Road is a winning testament to their creative longevity.

Track Listing:
CD 1:
Oh Yeah; Bungle Low; Blue Ray; Kemp; Why Not?; Quompot; Tone L; At Another Time.
CD 2:
Bluish; Different Cities; Cherry Pickin; The Line Up; Land's End.

Personnel: Mark Helias: bass; Gerry Hemingway: drums; Ray Anderson: trombone. Guests: Jason Moran: piano (CD 1, tracks 2, 5 ,7); Joe Lovano: tenor saxophone (CD 1, track 3; CD 2 tracks 1, 3).

Title: The Long Road | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Auricle Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Profiles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
The Long Road

The Long Road

Auricle Records
2016

buy
 

The Other Parade

Unknown label
2011

buy
The Line Up

The Line Up

Clean Feed Records
2007

buy
The Line Up

The Line Up

Clean Feed Records
2006

buy
 

March Of Dimes

Data Records
2002

buy
 

Cooked To Perfection

Auricle Records
1999

buy

Related Articles

Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Vera CD/LP/Track Review
Vera
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 18, 2018
Read In Motion CD/LP/Track Review
In Motion
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Marshian Time Slip CD/LP/Track Review
Marshian Time Slip
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Four On The Road CD/LP/Track Review
Four On The Road
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 17, 2018
Read "Live In Europe" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Europe
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: May 16, 2018
Read "Sketches of American Music" CD/LP/Track Review Sketches of American Music
by Doug Collette
Published: June 23, 2018
Read "64:38 Radio Full Liv(f)e" CD/LP/Track Review 64:38 Radio Full Liv(f)e
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 25, 2017
Read "Secret Passages" CD/LP/Track Review Secret Passages
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 11, 2017
Read "Let Your Light Shine On" CD/LP/Track Review Let Your Light Shine On
by Chris May
Published: May 27, 2018
Read "Blued Dharma" CD/LP/Track Review Blued Dharma
by Anya Wassenberg
Published: June 5, 2018