183

Lafayette Gilchrist: Three

Franz A. Matzner By

Sign in to view read count
Lafayette Gilchrist: Three Grounded in Baltimore's blue collar defiance and port city ruggedness, pianist Lafayette Gilchrist's style is fully his own, deliberately iconoclastic and aggressively blunt. And his third outing—aptly titled Three—remains firm in its dedication to this rough hewn tone, even as it translates the big, horn driven sound of his first two recordings to the trio format.

Self-taught on the piano and an accomplished jazz autodidact, Gilchrest steadfastly refuses to overtly reveal his extensive knowledge of jazz history and recordings, instead sticking to original compositions. Perhaps it would have been easier to use the trio setting as an excuse to run through a series of polite standards, but Gilchrist seems congenitally opposed to taking the easy path.

Like his debut, The Music According to Lafayette Gilchrist (Hyena, 2004), and the more complex follow-up, Towards the Shining Path (Hyena, 2005), Three cruises forward on a series of deep grooves, each track taking time to build its individual mood and unique sense of movement. Absent the complex horn charts, which infused both previous albums with terrific energy and allowed Gilchrist ample space to build his bold soundscapes, Three relies solely on Gilchrist's piano work to provide the necessary texture, dynamics, and harmonic and melodic development.

Tracks like the opening "Visitors, the crackling "In Depth, and the dirty grooved "Volcano prove Gilchrist more than up to the challenge, while others, like the strained "The Last Train and a slightly too long "Spheres of Existence suffer under their own weight. However, careful listeners will recognize that Gilchrist is committed to testing his own capacity, and an album wouldn't represent much of a stretch if there weren't a few missed steps.

In an era of musical navel gazing, Gilchrist's heavy, groove-dominated playing is refreshing for its outwardness. Extraordinarily distinct, it is far more the expression of an artist looking out at the world, translating its textures, its rhythms, the subtle inflections and tones, than the exploration of the artist's inner world. The result is a series of tough, captivating compositions that penetrate into the blood and bones.


Track Listing: Visitors;In Depth;Spheres of Existence;The Last Train;Volcano Red;The Enquizator's Request;Inside Outside.

Personnel: Lafayette Gilchrist:piano; Anthony "Blue" Jenkins: bass; Nate Reynolds: drums.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Hyena Records | Style: Funk/Groove


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Cornua Copiae" CD/LP/Track Review Cornua Copiae
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" CD/LP/Track Review Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2016
Read "The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture" CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Wee +3" CD/LP/Track Review Wee +3
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 7, 2016
Read "Don't Try You Are" CD/LP/Track Review Don't Try You Are
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 10, 2016
Read "Swan Song" CD/LP/Track Review Swan Song
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!