284

Jim Hobbs / Joe Morris / Luther Gray: The Story Of Mankind

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
There are numerous precedents for alto sax-bass-drums trios, and it's to the credit of this one that they manage to stake out their own territory in a well-populated area. Whilst the music they make is rooted in free bop territory they also have no qualms about covering more rarefied ground and the results are by turns compelling and individual.

Their collective cause is served in no small part by the eloquence of alto saxophonist Jim Hobbs.. Whilst he has something of Jemeel Moondoc's rhythmic flexibility, the tartness of his sound is entirely his own, particularly in the horn's middle and lower registers. He's also not a musician who feels compelled to come up with seemingly seamless lines. His work on the opening "Then a Genius Bethought Himself of the Use of Fire," gains its momentum from the way in which he deploys fractured, perhaps deliberately disjointed lines in the midst of Morris and Gray's rhythmic maelstrom.

Even when the mood is more reflective, as on "The Spreading of the Idea of Popular Sovereignty," there's still an ambience of kinetic activity. Thanks for this is in no small part due to the amount of ground Joe Morris covers on bass beneath Hobbs's braying fractiousness. Luther Gray's work here has the effect of giving the music momentum for all of its relatively low-key aspect.

Rhythmic vitality is to the fore also on "The Story of a Word," wherein the group echoes the spirit of the trio Ornette Coleman had with David Izenzon and Charles Moffett without uncritically aping its every move. Hobbs treads a fine line between injecting melodic impetus and employing his alto sax as a third voice in rhythmic service and again the results have about them that air of individuality that's never anything other than welcome.

It's no surprise that "Gunpowder" has its own incendiary quality. That stems largely from the tension the three musicians conjure up. Again Morris gives the music a momentum of which Hobbs certainly and Gray arguably seem to be in denial. As elsewhere, the resulting music hints not so much at a new vocabulary as it does a new form of interrelationship between rhythm and melody.

Visit Jim Hobbs, Joe Morris and Luther Gray on the web.


Track Listing: Then a Genius Bethought Himself of the Use of Fire; Lost in the Vastness of the Universe; The Story of a Word; Gunpowder; The Spreading of the Idea of Popular Sovereignty.

Personnel: Jim Hobbs: alto sax: Joe Morris: bass; Luther Gray: drums.

Title: The Story Of Mankind | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Not Two Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Aqustico vol 2 CD/LP/Track Review Aqustico vol 2
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Beginnings CD/LP/Track Review Beginnings
by David A. Orthmann
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Synchronic CD/LP/Track Review Synchronic
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Stinger" CD/LP/Track Review Stinger
by Joe Gatto
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Poetry from the Future" CD/LP/Track Review Poetry from the Future
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 30, 2017
Read "Translator's Note" CD/LP/Track Review Translator's Note
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 28, 2017
Read "It's A Mystery" CD/LP/Track Review It's A Mystery
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)" CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Numbers" CD/LP/Track Review Numbers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 30, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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