This trio set from three of New York’s most imaginative left-field musicians – Tim Berne drummer/vibraphonist Ches Smith, pianist Craig Taborn and tone-bending viola player Mat Maneri – displays such an unusual balance of compositional tautness (Smith wrote all the pieces) and spontaneity that assigning it to any jazz, improv or contemporary classical box is impossible. The nine-minute title track is typical, in the explicitness of the opening bell chime, Taborn’s show-and-hide chordal pulse, Maneri’s graceful ascents and a heated finale sprayed with brusque percussion rumbles. Cryptic viola melodies shadowed by rolling piano figures accelerate to frisky dances, stern tom-tom grooves stalk alongside intimate piano-viola dialogues, the fiddle equivalent of Jan Garbarek’s long sax outbreaths curl across dark landscapes before storms break.
Jimmy Smith wasn't the first organ player in jazz, but no one had a greater influence with the instrument than he did; Smith coaxed a rich, grooving tone from the Hammond B-3, and his sound and style made him a top instrumentalist in the 1950s and '60s, while a number of rock and R&B keyboardists would learn valuable lessons from Smith's example.
SHM-CD reissue. Comes with a mini-description. Features new remastering if it comes from Parlophone. Sublime guitar work from the great Johnny Smith – a musician who was years ahead of his time, and influenced a generation with his clean, clear tone on the instrument! Smith's in a perfect setting here – a Roost label quartet date that includes Bob Pancost on piano, George Roumanis on bass, and Mousie Alexander on drums – a very understated group that really lets Johnny's wonderful tones and colors stand strongly out front! Titles include "0500 Blues", "Old Girl", "Tired Blood", "Un Poco Loco", and "More Bass". Great CD version – one of the few proper issues of this material!