392

Ton Trio: The Way

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Ton Trio: The Way Tasting just one slice of the musical pie that is Aram Shelton, one finds him in his Bay area trio with bassist Kurt Kotheimer and drummer Sam Ospovat. His Ton Trio makes a jazz sound reminiscent of a '60s venture into The New Thing, yet favors a very melodic writing.

The saxophonist gained fame in Chicago in groups including Dragons 1976, Arrive, Grey Ghost, Fast Citizens, and Rapid Croche. His California music has been found in the bands Flockterkit, Son of Gunnar Ton of Shel, the Shelton/Healy duo, the Pink Canoes and Settled. Ton Trio formed in 2007.

The opening "The Way" recalls early Ornette Coleman with Shelton and Ospovat playing the simple melody repeatedly until the song opens into its improvisational phase. What impresses here is the equality of force—the saxophone, drums and bass share equally in the sound mix. Every minute gesture of Ospovat is heard, and he is equally responsible for the melody. The Nebraska-born drummer, now living in Paris, is comfortable both in jazz and rock.

Both "One Last Thing" and "Switches" rely on the rhythm section's energy to carry the weight as Shelton switches between alto saxophone and bass clarinet. His sound, as heard in his band Dragons 1976, can be powerfully free, but here he chooses to maintain a biting yet restrained approach. As Ospovat whirls and twirls his kit and Kotheimer drives a steady groove, Shelton perpetuates the core essence of these tracks.

One hears the flavor of Jimmy Garrison in the Akron-born bassist's tone as Kotheimer leads Shelton through "External Frame," while perhaps Ron Carter's voice is summoned on the mirror-track "Internal Frame." These bookend compositions are chamber improvisation pieces that complete the focused nature of this outing.

The melody and "arranged" improvisational writing of Shelton are impressive and quite delectable.


Track Listing: The Way; One Last Thing; Internal Frame; External Frame; Switches; Old Thoughts.

Personnel: Aram Shelton: alto saxophone, bass clarinet; Kurt Kotheimer: bass; Sam Ospovat: drums.

Title: The Way | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Singlespeed Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Janus" CD/LP/Track Review Janus
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 1, 2016
Read "Touch My Beloved's Thought" CD/LP/Track Review Touch My Beloved's Thought
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 7, 2016
Read "The Expanding Universe" CD/LP/Track Review The Expanding Universe
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 8, 2016
Read "Allison Philips Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Allison Philips Trio
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "Everything's Beautiful" CD/LP/Track Review Everything's Beautiful
by Asher Wolf
Published: July 18, 2016
Read "Sign of the Crow" CD/LP/Track Review Sign of the Crow
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 30, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.