Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

333

Modo Trio with Jamie Saft: The Uninvited

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
The Canada-based Modo Trio was formed in 1999 by trombonist Craig Brenan and bassist Jeff Johnson to explore a blend of African and Spanish music, along with the then burgeoning drum 'n' bass scene that was just reaching Canada. Drummer Bill George joined in 2003, and the group has been evolving ever since. Already heavily electronic courtesy of Johnson's electric bass and Brenan's unique use of a harmonizer, the trio is joined here by renowned multi-instrumentalist and producer Jamie Saft, who opens up its sound world considerably.

Similar to trombonist Robin Eubanks' forays into electronic augmentation, Brenan's harmonizer brings an odd synth-like gauziness to his instrument's timbre. Add to that Saft's subtle background manipulations and eclectic support and you have the potential for a heavy, effects-laden session. But Saft and the trio vary their palette, mixing in a few purely acoustic tunes with the funky electro numbers. The title track is completely acoustic; Brenan unplugs his harmonizer for a lyrical excursion, Johnson plays his upright with conviction, and Saft solos authoritatively on acoustic piano. Driven by George's lilting Latinized vamp, this is the album's most conventional tune.

The rest of the album explores an electro-acoustic sound world that is equal parts edgy, drum 'n' bass-driven funk and ambient, electronic soundscapes. "Rocket Sauce" and "Bender" both feature especially outré solos from Jamie Saft on mini-Moog and Rhodes that are out of this world: sci-fi, pitch-bend insanity and distorted tonalities. Driven with surgical precision, "Furious" and "You Are Being Probed" live up to their namesakes with petulant, nervous energy.

In contrast, "Solace" seems somewhat incongruous in this chilly postmodern setting. Unflinchingly beautiful, this glacially paced ballad invokes Ellington at his most sublime. Brenan's solo is warm, heartfelt and stunning in its economy. Equally unusual is the closer, "No Harm," a straight-up instrumental reggae tune complete with Saft's choppy, skank rhythm guitar. Buoyant and uplifting, with just a touch of bittersweet longing, it ends the album on a positive, optimistic note.

Occasionally tender and lyrical, other times funky and brash, The Uninvited successfully integrates popular music strains with jazz improvisation in a wholly organic way.

Visit the Modo Trio on the web.


Track Listing: Dream # 8; The Uninvited; Rocket Sauce; Bender; Aurora; Furious; Octothorpe; Solace; You Are Being Probed; No Harm.

Personnel: Craig Brenan: trombone with five-voice harmonizer and loop device; Jeff Johnson: acoustic and electric basses; Bill George: drums; Jamie Saft: piano, Rhodes, mini Moog, guitar.

Title: The Uninvited | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: 482 Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Copenhagen Live 1964 CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Somewhere Glimmer CD/LP/Track Review Somewhere Glimmer
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "More Than This" CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "The Groove Cubed" CD/LP/Track Review The Groove Cubed
by Geannine Reid
Published: October 29, 2017
Read "Tomeka Reid Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Tomeka Reid Quartet
by Patrick Burnette
Published: September 28, 2017
Read "To the Bone" CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by John Kelman
Published: August 26, 2017
Read "Twin" CD/LP/Track Review Twin
by Fiona Ord-Shrimpton
Published: April 6, 2017
Read "The Colours Suite" CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!