Friday, October 28, 2016

John Lindberg Raptor Trio, Western Edges, with Pablo Calogero and Joe LaBarbera

Smart, open-form avant jazz is the order of the day on bassist John Lindberg's Raptor Trio and their album Western Edges (Clean Feed 389). Drumming vet ace Joe LaBarbera makes for a substantial rapport with John. Lesser-known baritonist Pablo Calogero holds his own and forms an attractively dark front line with John on the composed sections. Both John and Pablo contribute the compositional frameworks and they hang together well.

Pablo does a great job getting around on his baritone, fleet and swinging when that is the ticket, open and free for those numbers that call for it. He deserves wider attention for sure.

Joe LaBarbara can swing like a mother and does, but he also understands and excels at the freetime role when that is in order.

John Lindberg's bass playing comes through beautifully throughout. Whether bowing or pizzicato, whether responding to Pablo, soloing, or as a front line articulator, he is superb.

And when you put it all together this is an album of great merit, something you should hear for a fine example of where avant jazz is right now. Get it!

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