AMH Trio

Live at Field & Frame

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There seems to be something exotic about a jazz group led by a tubaist. First of all, it's a rarity and, second, the leader often takes a different direction in writing. That's what happens with the AMH Trio. Mark Weaver, a tuba player based in Albuquerque, NM, invited reedist Alan Lechusza to join him for a session (both played in trombonist Michael Vlatkovitch's band). Lechusza brought with him Los Angeles drummer Harris Eisenstadt. The three musicians played together for the first time two days before this live recording. Weaver contributed five compositions, the other players one piece each. The set opens and closes with "Pentimento," a piece built on a twisted melodic/rhythmic motif. Actually, this is mostly the way Weaver writes -- sharp bouncy head lines tied together with improvisation ("Every Cubic Centimeter," "Elements," "Stitches"). Yet, the AMH Trio is quite different than Weaver's earlier project Protuberance (with guitarist Paul Pulaski and drummer Dave Wayne); the group is less funky, dynamic, and structured, and more mellow, exploratory, and free. Eisenstadt proves to be an inventive drummer, pumping excitement into "Pentimento: Encore" as he punctuates its leitmotif, trying to anticipate when the other players will fall back on it. Lechusza does a fair job on saxophones, less fair on clarinets, and overall doesn't come through as a striking player. Live at Field & Frame has been mastered very low, but the sound quality is good enough to be pleasing. This is a nice first effort, but it promises more possibilities in the future.

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