Excursions and Adventures
Label: Whaling City Sound
Nothing From Nothing; Maria; Gone, Not Forgotten; Paint It Black; Trinkle Tinkle; Unconditional Love; Messiaen's Gumbo; Yours Is My Heart Alone; Samsara; Yo 11; Paint It Black.
What happens when three masterful artists come together as a trio? The Duke did it with Mingus and Max Roach back in 1962. Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, and Jack DeJohnette continue to make memorable recordings. Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and Erroll Garner put together some nice trios as well. The members of this trio, perhaps not yet the superstars of their forebears, have come together on Excursions and Adventures, with an impressive demonstration of musical skill and performance. As many already know, Tim Ray (piano), Terri Lyne Carrington (drums), and John Patitucci (bass), have accomplished much individually, with multifaceted and diverse backgrounds, styles, and experience. They all have Berklee School of Music ties. But from there, they’ve spread themselves into very different corners of the jazz world. Ray, currently Tony Bennett’s musical director, has been a longtime road companion to Lyle Lovett and Jane Siberry. Acclaimed bassist Patitucci initially made a name for himself with Chick Corea, and has spent the better part of two decades with Wayne Shorter. Carrington, also with Shorter and a myriad of other top-flight jazz artists, is at the vanguard of today’s drum corps, with power, finesse, and a vision for the instrument that few can match. Considering this is the first time they’ve worked together, it’s exhilarating to hear such supreme talent find common ground on Excursions and Adventures. Together, they tackle originals, like Patitucci’s NOLA-inspired “Messiaen’s Gumbo,” Carrington’s “Samsara,” an ode to Shorter, which previously appeared on her acclaimed Jazz Is a Spirit album, and Ray’s “Yo 11,” which is as enjoyably rhythmic as it is melodic. There are a few pop covers to note, as well, including Billy Preston’s “Nothing from Nothing,” and the Stones’ rocker “Paint It Black,” both of which show remarkable and unpredictable invention. Like the most accomplished musicians, Ray, Patitucci, and Carrington bring out the best in each other, pushing into unpredictable areas, filling the spaces with constant surprises, and gifting the listener with the bounty of that creation. It is exhilarating, another of Whaling City Sound’s brilliant jazz releases, and a very good reason for fans of the longstanding piano-based trio tradition to get excited again. (Bob Gulla)
- Excursions and Adventures by Rob Rosenblum