Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Joseph Daley, Warren Smith, Scott Robinson, The Tuba Trio Chronicles

In the realm of jazz in our lifetime, Joseph Daley has consistently shown that he is one of the very most distinguished and original tuba players in the music. Especially important to his career was his appearance as an integral part of Sam River's Tuba Trio, consisting of Rivers, Daley and drums (Syd Smart or Warren Smith), with Joseph's tuba acting as the bass instrument in inimitable and innovative ways.

Of course Mr. Daley did not come out of nowhere. He was already the complete tuba master. But that trio gave him a prominence and a leg up and he has continued to do great work to move the music forward in all the years intervening between then and now.

As if to recall those heady days and to mark how far he has gone since then we have another tuba trio with Joseph at the head, in a significant album called appropriately The Tuba Trio Chronicles (JoDa Locust Street Music 004). It is dedicated to Sam Rivers and pays tribute to his tremendous importance to the music.

Joining Joseph is drummer-percussionist Warren Smith, who of course was there for the flowering of the original Tuba Trio, along with Scott Robinson on reeds--tenor and bass sax, bass flute, contra alto clarinet, etc.

The idea was to recreate the open, spiritually uplifting freedom of the Rivers Trio days, without recourse to literal River compositions except "Beatrice," but instead improvising around some very worthy Joe Daley compositions and the freedoms inherent in this trio today.

It is a very cohesive and moving freedom they attain here, in every way parallel to the open yet directed Rivers ensemble. Joseph is a marvel as ever, with creative invention never at a shortage. Warren reminds us just how complete a drummer-percussionist he is, with a wide range of creative responses and initiations. Scott Robinson shows he is no stranger to Sam River's inspirational ways, as he channels that fire and spirit into his own way of playing free.

The album is essential listening in itself, not just a tribute but a living extension of the legacy of the master.

I strongly recommend this one to you. It is an event, a beauty of a set!


  1. Thank you for your wonderful insights on this project, it is greatly appreciated..........

  2. Thank YOU, Joseph, for this wonderful set and your music in general! The original Tuba Trio made me hear tuba possibilities in a whole new light. This album continues to unfold what can be done in the best ways. I am glad to have it, to hear it, to write about it!