Thursday, May 16, 2013

add 0319

By Russell Diederich
 Format:Audio CD

Bring together jazz drummer Ginger Baker, bassist Charlie Haden, and guitarist Bill Frisell you better be prepared for a lot of good music. Don't be scared that this album is all free jazz because Charlie Haden is in the lineup. For the most part the music is understandable and not too difficult to follow. They do cover Ornette Coleman's "Ramblin'" which ventures more into the free jazz venue. Never does it feel like that everyone is playing a different song at the same time. The work by all three artists is outstanding. Frisell really stands out with his simple, yet expression filled playing (for some crazy reason, I think of his guitar sound as Hawaiian). Baker's rhythm is amazing. He's on the local radio station with some frequency, and listening to him talk you would think he'd have trouble finding the door of his home, little alone a rhythm. Haden is nothing less then Haden. This band sounds tight for the ten tracks of the album. Everyone seems to know where the other is going, and they complement each other very well. "East Timor" is probably the hardest hitting song on the album. It starts with Baker ranting about a secret war that occurred on this island, then is followed by some very serious playing (and a different sound from Frisell). Not being a free jazz fan, I have trouble with "Ramblin'" and Haden's "In the Moment". Frisell's two songs "Rambler" and "When We Go" are light and elegant, the latter with the slight twang of country. They do a great cover of Thelonious Monk's "Straight No Chaser". Baker pens three of his own songs here as well. Overall, I feel that this is a pretty good album. These three musicians are great at what they do. If you like jazz, especially with a touch of the free jazz, you'll be impressed with this piece.


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