Friday, May 1, 2009

Geri Allen/Paul Motion/Charlie Haden

Recently I discovered this trio's album, "Segments". Having already listened to "Etudes" and "In the Year of the Dragon", I'm already reasonable familiar with all of this trio's approach to music making, but, listening to this record, it struck me how this group often doesn't get to respect it deserves for an approach to playing 'songs' of various kinds in a creative way.
If you are a drummer, bass or piano player and don't own any of these records you have a massive hole in your library that needs filling (don't we all). If you play any other horn, then you should check this stuff out anyway.
The thing I really love about all of these guys playing is that they are all more concerned with line, rather than with clearly outlining harmony and form (or so it sounds to me). This gives the music amazing forward motion. Anybody who knows anything about these players knows they are masters of the aforementioned, but they never let it get in the way of great ensemble playing, in fact they are using their command of form and harmony to move past any dependence on it.
The more I think about that last point, the more I really think it sums up why I like this trio so much, and how I want t0 approach playing jazz repertoire (I mean that in the broadest sense). I was going to go into a whole lot of stuff about influences, particularly of Geri Allen's, and why I don't think that many people studying jazz have this down as essential listening, but it doesn't really seem that necessary now.....enjoy.

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