Monday, July 06, 2009

Profound Sound Trio - Opus de Life (Porter Records, 2009)

This ad-hoc free jazz supergroup lives up to its billing with a thrilling live performance recorded at the 2008 Vision Festival in New York City. Consisting of Paul Dunmall on tenor saxophone and bagpipes, Henry Grimes on bass and violin and Andrew Cyrille on drums, this group whips up a storming racket of collective improvisation that recalls the early '60's avant guard of Albert Ayler and Cecil Taylor. "This Way, Please" opens the performance with strong trio improvisation with bowed bass and drums laying down a massive foundation for Dunmall's raw and passionate tenor saxophone. There is an immediate intensity of this music that is very appealing and it builds to a thrilling, bracing performance that doesn't flag over the course of fifteen minutes of free flowing improvisation. "Call Paul" has Grimes switching to violin and locking in with Cyrille's percussion in a duet before Dunmall comes in on bagpipes (somewhere Rufus Harley is smiling!) and this configuration makes for an unusual and cool sound. The decks are cleared for Andrew Cyrille on "Whirligging" and he responds with a taught drum solo. Everyone reconvenes on "Beyonder" for another very lengthy improvisation . Strong, masculine tenor playing ripe with energy bellows forth, before Grimes responds with a deft bowed bass solo. Not to be outdone, Dunmall comes right back with a brawling solo, wildly exciting and accented with thrilling honks and squeals. After this exhausting piece, the band still has energy left for an encore, "Futurity", a fine example of their collective knowledge of the outer limits of the jazz genre. This was a sensational performance by three veterans of the free jazz scene, and it must have been seen as one of the highlights of the 2008 festival. The energy of the music and it's continuing evolution over the course of the performance makes for a most pleasing listening experience.
Opus De Life -

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