Thursday, April 05, 2012

Trio M - NYC Jazz Record

Trio M - The Guest House

Trio M is the best kind of leaderless trio. Each member
composes, each member solos and when they play live
even the stage patter is shared. For their second album
pianist Myra Melford, bassist Mark Dresser and
drummer Matt Wilson have combined for a cohesive
collaboration that shows their ease of interaction.

The album opens with the cinematic title track.
Wilson’s drums shuffle behind Melford’s montuno
before making way for a plunking solo by Dresser. His
bass pops and slides with funky confidence before
Melford provides a spiraling solo of her own. Wilson’s
playful homage to Don Knotts leaves a lot of space for
his drums to fill in around Melford’s high-low phrases.
Her two-handed solo becomes an intense conversation
with stuttering snare. Wilson’s chamber ballad “Hope
(for the Cause)” puts Dresser and Melford on the same
path, interacting sweetly and slowly over subdued
brushes. Melford’s “The Promised Land” turns up the
heat with a strong backbeat. Melford employs her
whole forearm to play a frenetic solo that assaults the
piano from top to bottom.

The 12-minute Dresser composition “Tele Mojo”
incorporates a treated piano that knocks like a
woodpecker on a vibraphone. Melford’s extended solo
builds into an almost bluesy cadence, her subtle lefthand
comping drawing the most from her higherregister
soloing. Dresser offers a quiet solo before
Melford makes a hectic return, playing cat and mouse
across the keyboard. “Even Birds Have Homes (to
Return to)” is Melford’s homage to Iraqi poet
Muhammad Mahdi Al-Jawahiri. Wilson’s tuned bells
ring over Dresser’s cascading bowed strings while
Melford provides an introspective solo. The album
closes with Dresser’s “Ekoneni”, the trio at their most
upbeat, bouncing through a near calypso that draws
percussive sounds from everybody’s instruments.

With the three bandmembers immensely busy and
scattered across the US, it is a rare treat for them to
meet, hence the five-year gap between albums. Here’s
hoping the next one comes in less time than that.

Trio M @ NYC Jazz Record

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