Wednesday, June 26, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 150


McPhee's Trio X offers ultimate jazz

By Chris Goodier
The Daily Cougar

Supporters of experimental jazz should anticipate Friday's arrival of Joe McPhee's Trio X. If the names Bennink, Dolphy or Coltrane have made an impact anywhere in your musical catalog, attending the session at Diverse Works should replace any prior obligation for the evening.

Composed of McPhee (sax/cornet), Dominic Duval (bass) and Jay Rosen (drum), Trio X has earned acclaim from the international community for both touring jaunts and powerful live shows reputed to showcase a fiery collaborative stamina of immeasurable proportions.

Unforeseeable trade-offs, riffs seemingly created by a five-car pileup and crescendos emitting heated shrapnel characterize the unit's improvisation tactics.

Picturing a current Trio X show is like imagining a descent into the dim nicotine laced atmosphere of a bop club in 1940s Harlem. To the uninitiated, chaos and discomfort plague perception. Brass runs like these belong in a crazed audiophile's studio, shielded from the dangerous intolerant listening public.

Disrobing of doubt and preconception necessitates a lack of expectation, turning the once cold atmosphere into a more accessible organic matter. The new atmosphere does not exist to sustain a biological construct, for the inner spirit suckles from the matter a passion-driven fulfillment of want and lust.

And it's just under the Interstate-10 overpass Friday night that Trio X writes a post-millennial chapter in the developing saga of hardcore jazz. 

McGhee arrived in New York in the mid-60s to study saxophone. After establishing himself as an instructor in the Black Studies Department at Vassar College, he headed toward Western Europe/Scandinavia's supportive avant-garde/jazz-rock fusion scene. Settling in Switzerland, he nurtured his craft for 25 years and was held in highest esteem as a musician throughout Europe.

In those fruitful years, he created a treasure trove of collaborations with the likes of William Parker, Matthew Shipp, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Steve Lacy, Sam Rivers and a tribute in Paris for the release of Mumia Abu-Jamal.

McPhee currently plays in New York City clubs and concert halls, while he continues to blaze global trajectory of festivals, concert premiers and seminars, stretching from coast to coast and across domestic boundaries.

Ever the innovator, Joe McPhee is himself a thinker, writing his own provocative liner notes fusing poetic expression of complexity and depth in both words and music

The free-jazz underground surfaces with Joe McPhee's Trio X at Diverse Works Friday night. Tickets can be purchased at Sound Exchange Records store for $13 or at Diverse Works.

Send comments to

To contact the Shobiz Section Editor, click the e-mail link at the end of this article.

To contact other members of 
The Daily Cougar Online staff, 


Advertise in The Daily Cougar

Student Publications
University of Houston
151C Communication Bldg
Houston, Texas 77204-4015

©2005, Student Publications. All rights reserved.
Permissions/Web Use Policy


Last update:

Visit The Daily Cougar