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Album Review

Sound In Action Trio – “Gate ” – [Atavistic]

Thurston Hunger   10/13/2006   CD, Jazz

What an exquisite equation! 1 + 2 = something infinitely
entertaining, solely created from one reed and two drummers.
Of course, that one horn is Ken Vandermark, who like Archie
Shepp is one of those free fire players who has an eagle-ear
for spotting and spouting lyrical cycles as well. It helps
that this songbook includes Eric Dolpy, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra,
Ed Blackwell, Herbie Nichols and John Coltrane. Blackwell’s
“Togo” is a nice example where the two drummers are more than
enough of a rhythm section, rolling off each other…and
right in sync with Vandermark on the sputter and stop talking
solo. The drummers here are Tim Daisy and Robert Barry (a hep
septagenarian who played with the aforementioned Sun Ra). Man
you feel their exuberance on this, and I can imagine after the
two days taken to record this, they were roaring for more.
Vandermark’s pieces here not only exhort his bash brothers,
but the dedications are a drum role call as well: Han Bennink,
Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, Pauls Loven and Lytton). Most of
this album swings like a scythe, heavy duty mowing down. Or
maybe it swings like a “Gate”, an ornate (if not Ornetty)
gate.. A couple of the clarinety numbers (#2 and the gentle
closer) do a graceful sort of soft shoe. “Slate” is the
other subdued piece that stays in a shadowy ballad space,
everything else is sparked by various ignition. Holy Smoke!

-Thurston Hunger

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