8

Chris Greco Quartet: Trane Of Thought

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
This record isn't an out-and-out tribute to saxophonist John Coltrane. The title—and title track—may suggest that it's all about that legendary figure, and the album-ending "Soul Eyes" serves as a secondary nod of affirmation, but saxophonist/multi-reedist Chris Greco doesn't just plant his flag on Coltrane's domain and call it a day. Sure, he delivers probing and edgy swing, hints of mysticism, and rapid runs that recall Coltrane's work, but he doesn't pattern his every move after the man.

The nine songs that make up Trane Of Thought travel different highways and byways, leaving this electro-acoustic crew to explore a variety of sonic realms. Greco works exclusively with the quartet format on this one, but the band often sounds bigger and fuller, thanks to the wonders of technology. Guitarist Brad Rabuchin uses a midi-synthesizer to expand his auditory outlook, drummer Kendall Kay adds conga drums into the mix, and bassist Dean Taba takes an electric approach with his upright; add to this the fact that Greco works with four different horns, and it's easy to see how four can sound like six or seven at times.

In sequencing the tracks on this album, Greco put some of the most challenging listens up front. He starts off with a nine-plus minute number that moves from free floating celestial spaces to Eastern-tinged trance soloing ("Sterope"), and follows it up with a Coltrane tribute that opens on a drum solo and moves toward a fusion-laced vision of that artist's work; this method of introduction is a programming leap of faith, but it basically works, as it helps to set an anything-might-happen tone for the record. One moment Greco and Rabuchin are digging their heels in over Kay's swinging drums ("Oliver"), and a few minutes later they're dialing it down, as Greco turns to his flute for a buoyant number ("Merope"). They take things slow and slick ("Mid-City Funk") on one occasion, and turn the lights down low as the album reaches its conclusion ("Soul Eyes"), but intensity is never too far away.

The songs that tend to stand up best feature the least amount of electro-drapery from Rabuchin; he's terrific when he's left to his own device-less devices. He usually shares center stage with Greco, who sounds equally strong, regardless of which axe is in his hands. Together they make a formidable front line that draws attention at every turn throughout Trane Of Thought.

Track Listing: Sterope; Trane Of Thought; Oliver; Merope; Mid-City Funk; T.D.S.; Maia; Electra; Soul Eyes.

Personnel: Chris Greco: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute, clarinet; Brad Rabuchin: guitars; Dean Taba: bass; Kendall Kay: drums, congas.

Title: Trane Of Thought | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: gwsfourwinds records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Aqustico vol 2 CD/LP/Track Review Aqustico vol 2
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Beginnings CD/LP/Track Review Beginnings
by David A. Orthmann
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Synchronic CD/LP/Track Review Synchronic
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Fistfight At The Barndance" CD/LP/Track Review Fistfight At The Barndance
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 14, 2017
Read "Verisimilitude" CD/LP/Track Review Verisimilitude
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 1, 2017
Read "Subtle Energy" CD/LP/Track Review Subtle Energy
by Geannine Reid
Published: October 13, 2016
Read "Nine Dances Of Patrick O’Gonogon" CD/LP/Track Review Nine Dances Of Patrick O’Gonogon
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Trinity One" CD/LP/Track Review Trinity One
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 31, 2017
Read "My Iris" CD/LP/Track Review My Iris
by Fiona Ord-Shrimpton
Published: February 18, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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