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Trio X

The Train And The River: A Musical Odyssey [DVD in PAL format] [DVD]

Trio X: The Train And The River: A Musical Odyssey [DVD in PAL format] [DVD] (CIMPVIEW)

DVD documentary of the great jazz trio of Joe McPhee, Dominic Duval and Jay Rosen, recorded in March of 2006 in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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product information:

PAL format, region not specified,

UPC: 786497002634

Catalog ID: 10001
Squidco Product Code: 8645

Format: DVD
Condition: New
Released: 2007
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardstock Sleeve
Recorded March 2006 in Vilnius, Lithuania by Nepriklausomi Garso Rezisieriai.


Joe McPhee-soprano sax, pocket trumpet

Dominic Duval-bass

Jay Rosen-drums

Directed by Dmitrij Veller

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Artist Biographies:

"Joe McPhee, born November 3,1939 in Miami, Florida, USA, is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, conceptualist and theoretician. He began playing the trumpet at age eight, taught by his father, himself a trumpet player. He continued on that instrument through his formative school years and later in a U.S. Army band stationed in Germany, at which time he was introduced to performing traditional jazz. Clifford Thornton's Freedom and Unity, released in 1969 on the Third World label, is the first recording on which he appears as a side man. In 1968, inspired by the music of Albert Ayler, he took up the saxophone and began an active involvement in both acoustic and electronic music.

His first recordings as leader appeared on the CJ Records label, founded in 1969 by painter Craig Johnson. These include Underground Railroad by the Joe McPhee Quartet (1969), Nation Time (1970), Trinity (1971) and Pieces of Light (1974). In 1975, Swiss entrepreneur Werner X. Uehlinger release Black Magic Man by McPhee, on what was to become Hat Hut Records.

In 1981, he met composer, accordionist, performer, and educator Pauline Oliveros, whose theories of "deep listening" strengthened his interests in extended instrumental and electronic techniques. he also discovered Edward de Bono's book Lateral Thinking: A Textbook of Creativity, which presents concepts for solving problems by "disrupting an apparent sequence and arriving at the solution from another angle." de Bono's theories inspired McPhee to apply this "sideways thinking" to his own work in creative improvisation, resulting in the concept of "Po Music." McPhee describes "Po Music" as a "process of provocation" (Po is a language indicator to show that provocation is being used) to "move from one fixed set of ideas in an attempt to discover new ones." He concludes, "It is a Positive, Possible, Poetic Hypothesis." The results of this application of Po principles to creative improvisation can be heard on several Hat Art recordings, including Topology, Linear B, and Oleo & a Future Retrospective.

In 1997, McPhee discovered two like-minded improvisers in bassist Dominic Duval and drummer Jay Rosen. The trio premiered at the Vision Jazz Festival in 1998 but the concert went unnoticed by the press. McPhee, Duval, and Rosen therefore decided that an apt title for the group would be Trio X. In 2004 he created Survival Unit III with Fred Lonberg-Holm and Michael Zerang to expand his musical horizons and with a career spanning nearly 50 years and over 100 recordings, he continues to tour internationally, forge new connections while reaching for music's outer limits."

-Joe McPhee Website (

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DVD documentary of the great jazz trio of Joe McPhee, Dominic Duval and Jay Rosen, recorded in March of 2006 in Vilnius, Lithuania.

"Too few musicians in the past have been able to tell their own personal stories. It has been up to historians and critics to do the work of "educating" (sometimes inaccurately) the public about the music that is seemingly less than accessible, but for the musician the most real. Fortunately, present-day technology affords musicians the opportunity to widely disseminate their own self-portraits. And The Train & The River, filmed in Vilnius, Lithuania in 2006, provides such a portrait, documenting in memorable detail a trio of musicians who continued their pursuit after going unnoticed at the Vision Festival in New York years ago. The trio? Trio X, comprised of multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee, bassist Dominic Duval and drummer Jay Rosen.

Borrowing its title from a Jimmy Giuffre piece of the same name, this visual and aural record of Trio X corresponds more to a foreign film than to a typical jazz musician documentary. The film is a pastiche of highly saturated or digitally overlaid colors within crystalline or unfocused river-scapes and train-scapes juxtaposed with muted wintry scenes of the members of the trio walking and talking together in open city- spaces. Interwoven into the mix are separate interviews of each of the trio members, but the questions are always unheard.

Dominating the soundscape is the trio's music. Among the songs featured are distinctive, inimitable versions of "My Funny Valentine" and "God Bless the Child," which ebb and flow throughout the entire film. The music subsides only when the sound of the chugging train passes through the continuum of the story or when the musicians are talking directly to the camera. Footage of the trio playing in a large hall supplies several invaluable, on-location focal points. At these moments the viewer can observe the players and their instruments in a way that would normally escape an audience. The views of the trio are mostly from a distance, as if from the back of the hall. Yet, some of the shots are close-ups that place the spectator near enough to McPhee's tenor to spot the details of the engraving in the bell of the horn; or so close to Duval's fingers that the viewer is able to detect the vibration of the bass strings in response to the performer's bowing; and close enough to Rosen's snare to reveal his brushes splaying as they hit the skin. [...]"-Lyn Horton

PAL format, region not specified,

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Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
August 2007
Joe McPhee
Trio Recordings
Quartet Recordings
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