For those of you looking for some funky, chunky Jaco Pastorius jams, this isn't the place. For those looking for extremely free playing where Mangelsdorff's trombone runs wild and chaotic, this isn't it either. For the fusion freaks entranced by Alphonse Mouzon's skittering drum work that stops and starts on a sliver of light, best look elsewhere. For the rest who are seeking great jazz in any configuration, this just might be your ticket. Trilogue Live! was recorded at The Berlin Jazz Days in 1976 and originally issued on LP while Pastorius was at the height of his tenure with Weather Report. Playing an all-Mangelsdorff selection, this trio delivers an inspired performance that relies on timing, virtuosity, and a little humor for its bread and butter. The title track is the opener, and its slight abstraction is quickly replaced by Pastorius suggesting the frame of the melody to his counterparts, who pick it up and glide. On "Zores Mores," knotty little post-bop lines are woven into an easy framework of Mouzon's dancing hands and a solid yet very flexible interplay between the trombonist and Pastorius' ever-inquisitive basslines. The shimmering tension between the trio's members is all heat on "Accidental Meeting," the closest piece to pure abstraction here, but Mangelsdorff insists on, at the very least, the articulation of jazz formalism. "Foreign Fun" starts out like surreal circus music, but quickly walks the razor's edge between Weather Report's more adventurous material and noirish jazz. The set closes with the groaning humor of "Ant Steps on Elephant's Toe," a bumping, bubbling, dub-style cut that features Mangelsdorff blowing fully out of the blues and Pastorius playing the very best Aston Barrett he can. The dub effect gives way to funk about halfway through, and Mouzon becomes animated, doubling and tripling his cohorts in a joyful dance of curiosity and discovery. This cut is street-tough, plenty nasty, and leaves the audience -- and listeners too, no doubt -- begging for more.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek