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
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
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
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
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.