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.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Singlespeed Music | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Wonders" CD/LP/Track Review Wonders
by Mark F. Turner
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "Surrounded by the Night" CD/LP/Track Review Surrounded by the Night
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2016
Read "Friday Night in San Francisco" CD/LP/Track Review Friday Night in San Francisco
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "Expansions: The Puzzle" CD/LP/Track Review Expansions: The Puzzle
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 16, 2016
Read "Of the Tree" CD/LP/Track Review Of the Tree
by Dave Wayne
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "The Outlier" CD/LP/Track Review The Outlier
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 16, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!