Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

288

George Haslam/Borah Bergman/Paul Hession: The Mahout

By

Sign in to view read count
George Haslam/Borah Bergman/Paul Hession: The Mahout 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.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Slam Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Hear & Now CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
Read Known-Unknown CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
Read Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival CD/LP/Track Review Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival
Read Stinger CD/LP/Track Review Stinger
Read Binary CD/LP/Track Review Binary
Read Piano Song CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
Read "Sol Boricua" CD/LP/Track Review Sol Boricua
Read "The Whole World Must Change" CD/LP/Track Review The Whole World Must Change
Read "I Just Want to Get Paid!" CD/LP/Track Review I Just Want to Get Paid!

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!