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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.
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.