When three musicians who can feel the impulses of each other and build on them come together, the results can be very edifying. It is precisely so with Harth, Morris and Norton (known as Trio Viriditas). They have long been integral to the adventure of forging new parameters. In their own stimulus, the music goes deep and thrills the very being, as they set up diverse moods that stamp their artistry indelibly. They make no compromises; they don’t need to. The opening tune, “From the North,” has a melody that latches on, but it is the musicality of the trio that underscores the composition. Harth changes mood and tempo ever so subtly while Norton opens up the rhythm with drumming that rides and crishes the cymbals to set up an expansive soundscape.
Imagination brings in more rewards as the trio funnels the mood into swing. There’s no swagger in their “Broggadocio,” just some uplifting, tasteful play with Norton adding a pleasant dash of color on vibraphone. A change of hue harkens on the wings of the starkly intense clarinet call of “Cue(ball) #1.” Silence adds its voice after Harth finishes, the lead-in for Morris to sing a calmer, gentler song... a juxtaposition that fits perfectly!
Harth and Norton open a dialogue while on “Route 23.” Norton again goes off on a tangent, his pulse in high acceleration, scooting and darting on the cymbals. As his animation increases, the sax gets hotter and snuggles closer without completely sliding into like tempo. Morris adds some calm understatement and then it is back to some swing and a more intimate involvement between the players. The means have justified the end.
Track Listing: From The North; Braggadocio; Interstate; Auda-city; Starbucks; Interstice; Fuer Die
I was first exposed to jazz while working overseas in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I would listen to the Voice of America on the radio and they had a nightly jazz program on at 10:00pm. I learned a lot about jazz listening to this program. I also had a friend who listened to real jazz by artists like Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Archie Shepp. On my way home from Africa I landed in New York and had the opportunity to see the George Adams/Don Pullen quartet at the Village Vanguard as well as Kenny Barron and Ron Carter at another club, and was in heaven.