Monday, April 26, 2010

Thomas-Parker Wells-Blanco Trio Extends the Music of Albert Ayler

You are at the Glenn Miller Cafe in Stockholm, Sweden, March 2007. The trio of Luther Thomas, alto sax, Jair-Rohm Parker Wells, bass, and Tony Bianco, drums, has gotten together to pay tribute to Albert Ayler in a supercharged set of freewheeling improvisations.

That's the setting for the Ayler download release Meditations on Albert Ayler. Familiar Albert themes and an old hymn are the launching pads for two extended cuts, but what matters is the group dynamic that bounds off the bandstand and engulfs the listener.

This is no clone of an Ayler session. It's in the tradition that comes out of Ayler, yes, but it is not some remapping of the licks and timbres of an old Ayler trio recording. Everyone in this ensemble contributes with their own take on the free improvisational genre. Drummer Bianco is busy, energetic without overwhelming the group context; Parker Wells brings the bottom up and lays down a spectral fullness; and, perhaps most of all, Luther Thomas plays an alto that has real projection and a virtual arsenal of sounds. He plays strongly rhetorical lines that power over the free wash, gets a wide range of sound colors and can play overarching cries and rapid figurations without sounding at all like an Ayler clone. He's a strong player and makes a strong statement and a cogent musical argument for why he is a player definitely worth hearing.

The sound is decent, the price is right and the music is very recommended. Go to to download.

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