"According to reedist/composer Guillermo Gregorio, this trio with pianist/composer Pandelis Karayorgis and double-bassist Nate McBride "...evidences a very consistent group." And, from the opening strains of "Assembly" through the closing notes in "Photogram," this is not only a consistent group, but a newborn trio - a true collective.
According to journalist Michael Rosenstein, "It's striking how the three play off of each other, drawing on each of their strengths while bringing out new shadings as well. Karayorgis' oblique angularities and impeccable sense of harmonic phrasing are there, only concentrated to a heady distillate. Here his playing is as much about the space around the notes as it is attention to the carefully placed angular motifs and shard-like chords. McBride is an insightful musician who is now receiving the attention he deserves. This trio setting brings out the muscular grace in his playing, as the dark timbres of his bass counter with the piano and clarinet. Gregorio's clarinet completes the picture. Throughout, his playing is infused with the warm woody tones and phrasing of the jazz clarinet vocabulary while filtered through his structuralist sensibility.
With these three, the lines between composition and improvisations are not only blurred, they are completely irrelevant. Listen to the trio's reading of Giuffre's 'Variation' which snakes Gregorio's clarinet over Karayorgis' fleet Monk-like abstractions and McBride's freely walking counterpoint. Then jump to the improvised 'Chicago Space II' which sounds as if it might be part of the same compositional series. The dark beauty of the pianist's 'Chicago Approach' has strong synergies with the collective 'Lake Michigan Cues' or the bass/clarinet duo 'Catalpa.' And one can easily hear the structural affinities between the spider-walk across the angular theme of Don Friedman's 'Spring Signs,' the collectively improvised 'Airplanes,' and the geometric refractions of Gregorio's 'Space Modulator.' With all of these pieces, they draw a thread between compositional form, a deep-seated internalization of the jazz tradition, and complementary strategies toward improvisation."-NuScope
Related Categories of Interest:
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
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