Friday, December 7, 2012

Mikkel Mark Trio Featuring Luther Thomas, 2007

Freebop is not bebop. That's obvious I suppose. Freebop often uses the bebop repertoire and sometimes the changes. Freebop may reference bebop lines in the course of the improvisations. But freebop takes the music past bebop in ways that would probably have gotten many players kicked off the bandstand if they had played some of those lines/harmonies at Mintons back in the day. And of course the players are not trying to play bebop as much as they are commenting on the form and making something new of it.

This is what runs through my head as I listen to the Mikkel Mark Trio Featuring Luther Thomas (JaZt TAPES CD-028). It's a 2007 live date from Copenhagen featuring Mark on piano, Thomas on alto, Guffi Pallesen, bass, and Kresten Osgood at the drums.

The band runs through some bop and beyond classics, "Straight No Chaser" and "Groovin' High" but also "All Blues" and "Equinox." What we get is a nicely loose blowing session with a solid rhythm section. Luther Thomas is in very good form, coming up with some blazing lines and going at it with conviction. Mikkel Mark comps sparingly and with expansive harmonic sensibilities and solos in a sparse, super-monkish way much of the time.

It may not be a recording that will set the jazz world aflame this year, but it is quite enjoyable and shows all in a nice place. Go to to find out more about this release and the JaZt TAPES series in general.

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