Monday, January 31, 2011

Zed Trio Heads for the Beyond on "Lost Transitions"

Somewhere in Toulouse, France in October 2009, the Zed Trio recorded their album Lost Transitions (Ayler 102). The CD showcases some out sounds from Heddy Boubaker on alto and the lesser-heard bass sax, David Lataillade, electric guitar, and Frederic Vaudaux on the drums. With a bass-less trio of this sort, the bottom comes through in the form of the bass drum, and Frederic has the "drop the bomb anywhere" approach, which means that the bass drum punctuates the music at any and potentially all possible places in any given phrase. He fills out his statements with churning figures that engage contrapuntally with freely devised alto or bass sax and the post-Sharrock-Bailey sound complexes of Lataillade.

There are ten different improvisational segments, many of which get pretty dense and robust at points.

It's a bit of a honk-out with the energy component one has grown accustomed to expect since the days of Albert Ayler himself. The Zed Trio goes more in for abstractions than the folkish qualities of Albert, and so they align a little more with Evan Parker, the pioneering Improvisation Company and those in that camp.

All that having been said, the Zed Trio most definitely hold their own. If you'd like to furnish your aural living space with an hour of wall-to-wall outness, and like the electrical charge a bit of noise-shred guitar brings to the equation, you'll dig this one.

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