Zero Degree Music documents Adam Lane's trio in what hopefully will be the first of many collaborations to come. Basing its kinetic explorations on Lane's original compositions, the trio rolls the structure around until every facet has been exposed and polished, discovering new jewels along the way. Lane snakes lyrical time-bound bass through the tumult, while Vijay Anderson sits on a bed of polyrhythms glistening through bright cymbal work. Vinny Golia unleashes his formidable improvising talents to reinforce his reputation as one of the reed masters of our time. As he has done in the past, Golia seems to revel in his role as sideman and his limited horn choice, focusing all his attention on playing like a man on fire. Together, they dance the line between the written and the unexpected.
Golia on tenor states the bouncy theme of "To Avenue X and then quickly dismantles it. Lane keeps it alive in his wanderings, then halfway through the piece, the time changes and Golia goes raw-edged. Land and Anderson stay woven tight on "Spin With the Earth, while Golia (on soprano) sings a sky full of variations, landing long enough to allow Lane's elastic dexterity to fully unfold. Overtones and multiphonics open "In Our Time, with Lane bowing. After a slow build to boil over, a sad ballad emerges with all three playing in a restrained, yet evocative fashion.
Lane introduces his "Intonations for Being with thoughtful plucking that opens up to allow Golia's searching soprano and Anderson's alert rhythms. After relying on an earthy pizzicato, Lane plays a few measures arco before lighting a fire under the band that Golia happily celebrates. "Clouds begins airily and develops into a thunderhead, with the big wind blowing out of the tenor and the booming of the low bass. Dedicated to the amazing reed rebel Lynn Johnston, "The Genius of El Segundo follows an unusual theme before blossoming into fragmented group improvisation easily navigated by Golia's soprano. Lane concocts stretchy bass lines, closely followed by the adaptable Anderson.
A Coltrane-ish solemnity starts Dance, quickly becoming a harrowing tightrope walk with Lane and Golia pushing farther over Anderson's net. The tricky up-tempo "Relaxing with Vinny has no intention of allowing anyone to relax. Lane and Anderson keep the pressure on Golia, who brings the tenor perilously close to the melting point.
The Adam Lane Trio recorded Zero Degree Music during a recent tour of the East Coast. Hopefully these players will bring their searing sounds of fire to West Coast performance halls in the near future.
Track Listing: To Avenue X; Spin with the EARth; In Our Time; Intonations for Being; Clouds; The Genius
of El Segundo (for Lynn Johnston); Dance; Relaxing with Vinny.
Personnel: Adam Lane: bass; Vinny Golia: soprano and tenor saxophones; Vijay Anderson: drums.
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already. SOOOO... he started me off LP's by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, Bill Evans, Monty Alexander, Charlie Byrd, and Dave Brubeck... does it get any better than that? ...No, it doesn't. I was hooked!!
I met and had a master class with the late music giant John Lewis, leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet! This was at CCNY in 1977. I was blessed! It was an incredible class... how could it have been anything else?!?!
The first jazz record I bought was...I bought numerous records from my friend at the record store, as mentioned above. He introduced me to nothing but music giants/legends! I think The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Greatest Hits, was actually the first one.
My advice to new listeners... study first--understand the rudiments--solfeggio, keys, scales, and basic chords. Read a book or take a class that includes the study of chord progressions, especially in jazz. It should ideally be a piano class so you can play multiple notes together. Have a good EAR or else it's not really worth it in my view...to become a musician, a good EAR for music is about as fundamental as breathing! Learn to read chord charts--i.e., lead sheets - wherein you play various voicings of the chords--major, minor, dominant 7th (alterations of these, you can learn over time - the basic chords are most important for starters), plus the melody, on the piano or keyboard. If you have to read the exact notes, then it's not the same as actually internalizing it & getting it all into your head. If you can do this, I think you're ready not only for listening to jazz, but understanding many concepts of it! Of course...anyone can listen to jazz... but I think it's so good to also have a grasp of it.