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Trio X: Journey (CIMP)

Trio X with Joe Mcphee (alto & tenor sax), Jay Rosen (drums), Dominic Duval (double bass) recording at The Spirit Room, Rossie, NY, Feb. 6 & 7, 2003.

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product information:

UPC: 786497527922

Label: CIMP
Catalog ID: 283
Squidco Product Code: 10904

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2003
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at The Spirit Room, Rossie, NY, Feb. 6 & 7, 2003 by Marc D. Rusch.


Joe McPhee-alto saxophone, tenor saxophone

Dominic Duval-doublebass
Jay Rosen-drums

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track listing:

1. Episode 1: That Was/This Is 6:10

2. Episode 2: Journey 11:58

3. Episode 3: Jaywalkin' 9:19

4. Episode 4: Blue Moves 6:56

5. Episode 5: Autograph 12:18

6. Episode 6: Everything In Nothing Flat 6:02

7. Episode 7: For Charles Moffett 3:04

8. Episode 8: Rossie 2 Step 5:16

9. Episode 9: Albert's Alto 4:40

10. Episode 10: Amazing Grace 4:54
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Trio Recordings
Joe McPhee
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"This is the fifth recording for Trio X, and, as with the others, it presents free jazz of the highest caliber. Producer Bob Rusch writes in the liner notes that the name of the group derives from a somewhat "cynical" reaction to the group being ignored at clubs and festivals, with the name signifying "...the unknown, unrecognized, and unacknowledged participants." In truth, you could not ask for a more accomplished, in-synch set of musical partners. There is a near-perfect synergy among them, so much so that they seem to anticipate each other's every move, almost like dancers who instinctively follow one another's steps. One of the criticisms of the seemingly ubiquitous sax-with-rhythm trio is that each one tends to sound the same. These fellows break the mold by refusing to indulge exclusively in the mind-numbing ecstatic blow-outs that are so common. Much of the credit is due to Joe McPhee's exquisite sense of melody: even when intense, he infuses every note with thoughtful control. The results reflect the group's natural reticence and attraction to nuance, something that is especially evident on "Journey." Overall, though, this is not music for the fainthearted, as delicacy is juxtaposed with aggressive expression. On "Albert's Alto," for example, the ghost of Albert Ayler is resurrected but never cloned, and his spirit absorbed and reincarnated. The closing "Amazing Grace," in memory of Dominic Duval's late wife, is perhaps the highlight of the album, a lovely, even exquisitely executed reflection of deeply held sentiments."-Steve Loewy,

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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