Saturday, December 03, 2011

FAB Trio - History of Jazz in Reverse (TUM Records, 2011)

Recorded in New York City in 2005, the FAB Trio consists of Billy Bang on violin, Joe Fonda on bass and Barry Altschul on drums. the title History of Jazz in Reverse alludes the group's ability to meld its music from free improvisation to swing into a coherent whole of collective group interplay. Much of the extended liner essays are given over to laments for the loss of Billy Bang, who passed away earlier this year, but the music itself is anything but mournful. There are a couple of tributes on this record, "For Bea" is a collectively improvised ballad dedicated to Sam Rivers' wife Beatrice, who had died a few days before the recording, and "For Don Cherry" is Billy Bang's tribute to his close friend and great trumpeter. The group's collective free improvisations are the centerpieces of this recording. "Homeward Bound" begins with long, longing tones from Bang, before the bass and drums join in and develop this lengthy improvisation into a complex three way conversation. "Implications" and "From Here to There" are collective improvisations at speed. The members of the group had just completed a tour of Europe when this album was recorded, and it is evident here how much they had developed a unique cohesion that allowed them to play rapidly in a supportive and developmental fashion. The title song, "A History of Jazz in Reverse" brings all of these elements together in a way that unites the trio in an elemental way, allowing them to review the thrilling possibilities that the multiple subgenres of jazz allow eventually melding them all into one in a progressive and exciting manner. The groups ability to cross musical terrain at will is a hallmark of this recording. They are not restrained by any preconceived notions of what "jazz" is, but take all of the source material and meld it together in the crucible of their own talent with excellent results. History of Jazz in Reverse -

Send comments to Tim.