Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Andrew Downing, Jim Lewis, David Occhipinti, Bristles

As I started out primarily as a drummer in my youth, I do remember the time when virtually every jazz album employed a drummer, except notably the Jimmy Giuffre Trio sides. Then by the early '70s drummerless groups became more and more common, and I adjusted to it, in part by paying more attention to the other instruments I played but also by appreciating the kind of interaction a drummerless ensemble can give.

So today's group does not surprise in its instrumentation of double bass, electric guitar and trumpet as it once might have. But it does give us a very open chamber sound that allows for a good deal of spontaneous interaction without the necessity of pulse or bar lines, though there are times when the music has a definite rhythmic pulse.

I didn't know this trio up until now. They seem to hail from Canada. It consists of David Occhipinti on electric guitar, Andrew Downing on bass and Jim Lewis on trumpet. The album in question is called Bristles (Occdav OM007).

The reference in the title is to modern art. The program alternates between fresh trio versions of standards and freewheeling tributes to modern artist-painters, such as Pollack, Twombly, Klee, Kandinsky, etc.

This alternating program gives us something different. The chamber-style standard coverage has a quirky feel often enough, such as "Once I Loved," which starts with a guitar feedback chord over which the trumpet states the theme. The artist tribute numbers are in a varied and interesting free-abstract mode.

All three are very capable players who bring to us a group dynamic that is nothing short of original. They make full use of their intimate threefold presence and there is solo space for all, which they use wisely.

I come out of the listens with a real appreciation for what the trio is up to. Well done!

No comments:

Post a Comment