Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Barry Altschul's 3dom Factor - Tales of the Unforeseen (TUM Records, 2015)


This is the second album by drummer Barry Altschul’s 3dom Factor, with Jon Irabagon on saxophones and flute and Joe Fonda on bass. The basic approach on this album was for the group was to play freely, with no preconceived notions as to where the music would take them. The album opens with  “As the Tale Begins” which is a very long track that drifts from softer passages to louder coruscating blasts of saxophone leading the trio into raw sections of deep improvisation. Altschul has a nice drum solo before the music moves into an abstract section where he adds soft bells and Irabagon adds subtle air against bowed bass creating music that is unnervingly atmospheric. There is an open feel to “A Tale of Monk: Ask Me Now” where the trio works in open space with a great sense of patience. Long lines of saxophones develop in search of Thelonious Monk’s brevity and wit, propelled by thick and elastic bass. Fonda’s muscular bass also powers “The Tale Continues” in the company of light sounding saxophone and drums, which develops very fast rolling sounds pushing the saxophone into deeply energetic playing. Irabagon is in his element here gobbling the music up like ammunition and then spitting it out like a machine gun over broad bass and immaculate drum rhythm. “A Drummer´s Tale” is the leaders well earned solo performance, which is epic and draws on all aspects of his technique. Sometimes it seems like there are more then four limbs at work here from a nimble touch on the cymbals to a pummeling approach to the drums, this natural aptitude for percussion is inspiring thrilling. Jon Irabagon moves to flute for the beginning of the concluding track “And the Tale Ends” supported by deft and pointed bass and light brushing percussion. This sets up a light chamber jazz feel before the band switches gears and Irabagon moves to saxophone and the music slowly moves up in power to a stately and thoughtful conclusion. The musicians have to be very tight and trusting of each other to make spontaneous improvisation like this work. The energy and flow of the music comes naturally and shows they are very comfortable and successful in this format. Tales Of The Unforseen - amazon.com

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