Saturday, May 12, 2012

Andrew Lamb Trio - Honeymoon on Saturn (CIMP, 2012)

When I first read the album title, Honeymoon on Saturn, I thought that it might be a tribute to Sun Ra. But although not a direct tribute, the music made by this trio has much in common with the music of the Arkestra including strong passionate playing and a dynamic musical approach. The instrumentation is what gives this album a unique flavor, with Andrew Lamb on tenor saxophone, Tom Abbs on bass and tuba and Warren Smith on glockenspiel and drums. The bumping and slurring effects of the tuba really expand the musical possibilities offered to the group particularly on the lengthy opener "Land of the Pure at Heart" where the tuba sometimes takes on the role of bass as well as shadowing Lamb's saxophone and stepping out on its own. Smith's gently played percussion eases the group in while the tide of musical improvisation continues to build. "Honeymoon on Saturn" has Abbs in a dual role, acting as a pivot point for the very strong and passionate saxophone and drums (and screams of excitement) to revolve. The band slows down the torrid pace on "The Call of Love's True Name" playing in a very spacious and probing manner. "A Alegria E O Prazer de uma boa Tarte" takes its time developing but eventually resolves into a very coherent uptempo improvisation where Lamb's clearly articulated saxophone really makes its presence felt. The sarcastic "Theme for Radio Crude Oil" ends the album on a sardonic note with marshaling drums herding the saxophone and bass into a taught, pithy improvisation. There was a lot to enjoy on this album, the playing was adventurous and powerful and the whole conception of the album was well thought out with the goal of making the most of the possibilities available to the group. Honeymoon on Saturn (misspelled) - iTunes.

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