1

Charles Rumback: Threes

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Versatile drummer Charles Rumback's third release under his name, Threes is a live session recorded at Constellation Chicago. It is also Rumback's first with a piano trio, and although the formation is conventional the music is nothing but that. Indeed, the four long pieces that make up the album are provocative in their inventiveness and passionate in their delivery.

For instance, the leader's "Salt Lines" is darkly hued with an undercurrent of lyricism and a thrillingly organic and vibrant theme. The subtle and clever interplay among the three musicians continuously transforms the melody in intriguing patterns out of which the individual solos naturally emerge. Bassist John Tate improvises with delightful eloquence never losing his mordant edge while pianist James Baker brings in modern classical influences.

Baker's phrases flow gracefully over the band's hypnotic refrains on the superb interpretation of pianist Andrew Hill's sublime "Erato." Rumback creates an intriguing ambience with his intricate rhythmic flourishes. His brushes rustle and cymbals gently crash as Baker and Tate take turns in the spotlight with erudite embellishments of the tune.

The band also is adept at creating dramatic atmospheres. On "Too Toney" Rumback's rolling drums, Baker's chiming keys and Tate's agile bass lines create a cinematic mood. The dynamic exchanges are tinged with melancholy but it is a wistfulness that has a bittersweet touch even a tad of whimsy.

The pièce de la resistance of this captivating album is the medley "Three Storey Birdhouse / Right Reasons." Not only it is the longest track, clocking in around 21 minutes it is also the most thrillingly complex and is a miniature reflection of the entire work. Rolling beats and sparse piano and bass notes set an expectant and haunting mood. Contemplative and angular three-way conversation follows that is stimulating and emotive. Delightful and ardent dissonance permeates the energetic and cerebral spontaneous performance.

Rumback shines on Threes both as a composer and a leader. The uniqueness of his originals matches each sideman's individual style. Rumback exquisitely and effectively balances the distinctive expressions of the group members with the seamless camaraderie that marks this brilliant record.

Track Listing: 1. Salt Lines; 2. Three Storey Birdhouse / Right Reasons; 3. Erato; 4. Too Toney.

Personnel: Charles Rumback: drums; Jim Baker: piano; John Tate: bass.

Title: Threes | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Ears And Eyes Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "The Spirit Of Trane" CD/LP/Track Review The Spirit Of Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 4, 2017
Read "Supernovae" CD/LP/Track Review Supernovae
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Into A Myth" CD/LP/Track Review Into A Myth
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 19, 2017
Read "Reunion" CD/LP/Track Review Reunion
by John Sharpe
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Second Stream" CD/LP/Track Review Second Stream
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Atrium" CD/LP/Track Review Atrium
by James Nadal
Published: May 2, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.