Friday, September 13, 2013

Trespass Trio & Joe McPhee, Human Encore

Not every promising collaboration lives up to its potential. Some disappoint because the chemistry isn't there or there wasn't enough preparation before the actual encounter. That isn't the case with the meeting of Joe McPhee and Trespass Trio, as heard on the very stimulating live disk Human Encore (Clean Feed 369).

The foursome played in a special three-day residence at Jazz Ao Centro at Salao Brazil, Coimbra, Portugal during the summer of 2012. The disk is some highlights of that appearance. McPhee is on tenor and pocket trumpet, Martin Kuchin, alto and baritone, Per Zanussi, double bass, and Raymond Strid, drums.

It features both free blowing and compositional structures. What's exceptional about it is the sympatico meld they get. McPhee clearly gets inspiration from the trio and vice versa. Joe's trumpet stands out more dramatically when part of a two-horn front line, and everybody works marvelously together for some bold music-making. The two-plus-two breakdown of McPhee-Kuchen and Zanussi-Strid gives double clout to the outcome, though of course all four mix it up in different ways throughout.

There is intent in the music, nothing slap-dash or thrown together. All play freely, thoughtfully, movingly. It's a kick, a bit of master-inspiration, a disk you should not miss if you are into what is new in new jazz avantdom.

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