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

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Profiles
Album Reviews
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

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read New American Songbooks, Volume 2 Album Reviews
New American Songbooks, Volume 2
By Karl Ackermann
February 19, 2019
Read Live At JazzCase Album Reviews
Live At JazzCase
By Troy Dostert
February 19, 2019
Read Eastern Sonata Album Reviews
Eastern Sonata
By James Fleming
February 19, 2019
Read Cannonball Album Reviews
Cannonball
By Rob Rosenblum
February 19, 2019
Read Child Of Illusion Album Reviews
Child Of Illusion
By Don Phipps
February 19, 2019
Read Infection In The Sentence Album Reviews
Infection In The Sentence
By Chris May
February 18, 2019
Read Real Isn't Real Album Reviews
Real Isn't Real
By Phil Barnes
February 18, 2019