Thursday, May 10, 2018

Jeff Cosgrove / Ken Filiano / Scott Robinson - Hunters and Gatherers (Grizzley Music, 2018)

This is a very interesting modern jazz album, featuring the trio of Jeff Cosgrove on drums, Scott Robinson on saxophone and Ken Filiano on bass. All of the selections of the album are collectively composed by the except an excellent cover of Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman" that concludes the album. Jeff Cosgrove has made a several album as a collaborator with the likes of Matthew Shipp and he plays a propulsive rhythmic focus that fits in very well with the other two musicians, switching between blistering stick playing and subtle percussion in a nimble and unexpected fashion. He keeps the short to medium length performances moving along briskly playing in fine fashion with his veteran collaborators. "Don't Look (Just Run)" has an ominous and propulsive elasticity from the bass playing and drumming, which is met by bursts of expressive saxophone. The music moves along quickly with bowed bass adding to the tension along with deft cymbal play and quivering gales of saxophone, creating an emotionally resonant performance. The deeply textured saxophone leads the trio into "High, Low" which builds to an impressive collective improvisation that uses the notions of space and time to allow greater flexibility as the music develops. Quick bursts of high pitched saxophone keep the sound from becoming stale and Robinson juxtaposes these high sounds with rolling guttural bursts making for an exciting and dynamic performance. This carries through to the all too short "Instinct" which is a thrilling blast of free jazz lasting under a minute. "Simple Justification" is the longest track on the album, a slowly building performance that begins with subtle interplay between the three instruments that gradually rises in volume and intensity, with long tones of saxophone and bass that lays the groundwork for what is to come. The musicians weave their individual sounds together and create a cohesive trio approach that is very appealing in that the improvisation is well paced, and a truly collective endeavor. The group ends the album with a very thoughtful and well played version of "Lonely Woman" that takes the haunting and instantly memorable melody and uses it as a foundation for a spacious improvisation incorporating bowed bass, quavering saxophone and deft percussion. Overall this album worked quite well, showcasing three musicians that are very well attuned to one another and the material they present, creating an enjoyable and exciting album. Hunters and Scavengers -

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