Bass Drum Bone

Bass Drum Bone (Hence the Reason)

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Compact and abetted by a tightly organized but at times loosely based improvisational approach, the musicians meld bluesy riffs with swinging grooves and democratically structured soloing. Bassist Mark Helias serves as the anchor, while drummer Gerry Hemingway and trombonist Ray Anderson often complement one another via intermittently executed micro-motifs and deft improvisational tactics. However, this is not a free for all, as the trio regularly engages in briskly executed unison choruses and cunningly inventive thematic interludes. On the piece titled "Sambali," Hemingway delves into a polyrhythmic Afro-Cuban exercise, whereas the artists pursue a maddening swing vamp on "Speak Again Brother." With that, the trio covers a lot of ground, yet rarely -- if ever -- becomes bogged down in extended (or endless) soloing escapades and asymmetrical diatribes. Overall, these musicians transcend the norm in a rather huge way. Strongly recommended.

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