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Trio X

Watermelon Suite

Trio X: Watermelon Suite (CIMP)

Trio X with Joe Mcphee (alto & tenor sax), Jay Rosen (drums), Dominic Duval (double bass) recording at The Spirit Room, Rossie, NY, May 26 & 27, 1998.

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product information:

UPC: 786497376322

Label: CIMP
Catalog ID: 183
Squidco Product Code: 10907

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 1999
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at The Spirit Room, Rossie, NY, May 26 & 27, 1998 by Marc D. Rusch.


Joe McPhee-alto saxophone, tenor saxophone

Dominic Duval-doublebass
Jay Rosen-drums

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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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track listing:

1. Points 7:19

2. The Watermelon Suite Part 1- The Whole 4:39

3. The Watermelon Suite Part 2- The Rind 3:09

4. The Watermelon Suite Part 3- The Meat 7:37

5. The Watermelon Suite Part 4- The Seeds 2:25

6. Wecotdo Part 1 5:50

7. Wecotdo Part 2 3:34

8. Soundboard Safari 4:45

9. Solero 6:07

10. A Ballad In Their Own Way 6:06

11. Putter Piece 11:24

12. My Funny Valentine 9:41
descriptions, reviews, &c.

"McPhee is such a versatile player that sparks fly whether he blows a saxophone or trumpet. Here, he performs solely on the soprano sax, joined by bassist Dominic Duval and percussionist Jay Rosen. The mood is generally more pensive than to be expected, although fires are lit in a few of the pieces. McPhee shows himself to be a thoughtful, sensitive player, where every note counts and space is just as important. "My Funny Valentine," the only recognizable tune, is played very slowly, and lyrically. When McPhee drops out for "Soundboard Safari," Duval and Rosen turn up the intensity with some stunning blowing. The title piece (actually a suite) consists of four improvised tracks, inspired by a watermelon placed by the producer. The results are somewhat mixed, though McPhee and Duval fans should find moments of inspiration. "-Steve Loewy,

Related Categories of Interest:

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