183

Upper Left Trio: Three

John Barron By

Sign in to view read count
Upper Left Trio: Three Occasionally, in the midst of media-hyped young lions re-creating and staking claim to past innovations, a jazz recording will emerge that nurtures the essence of tradition with openness and candor. Such engaging qualities can be heard on Three, the third release from Portland, Oregon's Upper Left Trio, featuring pianist Clay Giberson, drummer Charlie Doggett and bassist Jeff Leonard.

Three is characterized by unabashed improvised intensity smoothed over with moments of serene lyricism. Giberson, a dynamic soloist, leads the way with patience, yet demonstrates an acute efficiency for turning a theme inside-out; especially on his own freely developed "Scriab-Ish and the sparse rumblings of "Mantra. The group's hip, left-of-center rendition of "The 'In' Crowd manages to pay homage to the classic trio of Ramsey Lewis without being needlessly overt.

Doggett, a drummer of imagination and curiosity, propels each tune with cunningness and unrelenting swing. The fiery percussionist has a refreshing way of carving out melodious statements while simultaneously providing lucid support to Giberson's playful approach. His take-no-prisoners approach on the up-tempo "Matters of Perception is exemplary.

Leonard approaches the electric bass with upright sensibilities; his tone is thick, with a woody, low-end resonance. Although the intuitive bassist plays a mainly supportive role throughout, his minute-long improvised, and highly melodic foray, "Introduction, sets up the trio for a thoughtful reading of Neil Young's "Don't Let it Bring You Down. Leonard's compositional contributions include the odd-metered "Linguistricks, the bouncy "I See, You See, We See and the floating "Inside an Other.

The most satisfying aspect of Upper Left Trio is one of originality. While the influence of various classic piano trios can be heard, the music on Three speaks to the integrity of a truly unique and collaborative ensemble. Musical clarity, honesty and soulful performances prevail.


Track Listing: Revealed; Mantra; Linguistricks; The In Crowd; Scriab-ish; Introduction; Dont Let it Bring You Down; On the Farm; I See, You See, We See; Matters of Perception; Surface Tension; Inside an Other; As Afternoon Falls.

Personnel: Clay Giberson: piano; Charlie Doggett: drums; Jeff Leonard: basses.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Origin Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

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 TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Super Petite" CD/LP/Track Review Super Petite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "Collectables" CD/LP/Track Review Collectables
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 2, 2016
Read "The Stone House" CD/LP/Track Review The Stone House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Lovers
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: September 13, 2016
Read "Transcience" CD/LP/Track Review Transcience
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 14, 2016
Read "Hibernation" CD/LP/Track Review Hibernation
by John Eyles
Published: March 14, 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!