288

George Haslam/Borah Bergman/Paul Hession: The Mahout

By

Sign in to view read count
On The Mahout, three well established musicians meet, almost for the first time, and produce an album from thin air. Yes, this is free improvisation in the age of instancy, but this is still a remarkably spontaneous product. According to the brief liner notes, the trio met for a beer, then recorded the next morning. Evidently it was only one beer—these men are no college kids, and the music reveals no trace of hangover. The title track, if anything, might induce hangover-like feelings in the uninitiated listener, and would have most likely drained lesser players, but Bergman, Haslam and Hession hang on for a solo track apiece (plus one more for the garrulous Bergman), then take us out with another roof-raising trio.

The Mahout is not for everyone, and even a sympathetic listener may wish for more brevity. The opening track is eleven minutes of nonstop thrashing, though the following solo pieces provide space and serenity. Bergman is inevitably compared to Cecil Taylor, who seems to be truly appreciated by only a hardy few. No astute Taylor fan will mistake The Mahout for the frenetic free bop architect’s work, but it’s fair to say it’s in the same general category as Taylor’s small band stuff, and just as unvarnished. Bergman’s playing is densely textured, rarely spacious. While atonal, it manages at times also to be lyrical and lovely. Haslam’s baritone work is outstanding, and he also plays tarogato, switching from one to the other with astonishing speed, or playing them both simultaneously. Hession is a first rate drummer, and his solo segment is a high point on the record. Let’s hope to see this trio in New York soon.


Track Listing: 1. The Mahout - 11:01 2. M.E.W. - 3:19 3. Streams - 8:08 4. Ancient Stars - 7:21 5. The Varmint (For Jack Elam) - 5:23 6. Dusk - 4:48 7. Zircon - 8:19

Personnel: Borah Bergman - piano; George Haslam - baritone sax, tarogato; Paul Hession - drums.

Title: The Mahout | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Slam Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Triple Double CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2017
Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Oaktree" CD/LP/Track Review Oaktree
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren" CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Infra" CD/LP/Track Review Infra
by John Eyles
Published: October 7, 2017
Read "The Quest: Live at the A.P.C." CD/LP/Track Review The Quest: Live at the A.P.C.
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Viriditas" CD/LP/Track Review Viriditas
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 24, 2017
Read "On Hollywood Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 6, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.