Borderlands Trio – “Asteroidea” (Intakt Records, 2017)

“Asteroidea” is the avant-garde jazz album released on October 20 by “Intakt Records”. The album was recorded by “Borderlands Trio” – it’s Stephen Crump (acoustic bass), Kris Davis (piano) and Eric McPherson (drums). These three musicians had been active members of avant-garde jazz scene for many years. Inventive musical decisions, unique playing manner and sound, great and masterful improvising made them famous and creative avant-garde jazz players. They had been improvising together as a trio and along with other famous jazz masters. The musicians are the masters of combining many different elements in one composition. Various modern, traditional and experimental jazz styles, contemporary music elements and different world countries ethnic music intonations are masterfully twisted in one composition. Musicians always searching for new and unusual timbres, weird sounds and are using many spontaneous musical decisions. Their improvisations are usually full of unexpected stylistic combinations, interesting instrumentation and modern musical decisions.

The compositions of “Asteroidea” are mostly based on experimental jazz. Collective improvisations have much elements of avant-garde jazz, bebop, post-bop and sometimes – swing and other traditional jazz styles elements. It’s a outstanding synthesis between various jazz styles and some elements of contemporary academical music. The compositions are always changing – their styles, moods and characters changing each other very dynamically and rapide. Kris Davis piano melodies are very colorful and full of various different musical expressions. Very fast arpeggios, melodic and expressive improvisations, lyrical and very soft episodes or very calm and gentle pieces are twisted together in one improvisation. Various elements of Latin jazz, blues, traditional jazz are also heard in his improvisations. Kris Davis playing is very passionate and emotional. He try out many different ways of playing, is always changing the character and mood of the improvisation. His music has interesting sound most of the time and doesn’t stay in one place for long period. Stephen Crump bass melodies also are very dynamic and have a gorgeous sound. Pizzicato, glissando, fast arpeggios, dramatic vibrato and many other bass playing techniques are used in his improvisations. He masterfully combine different musical expressions, unexpected stylistic waves and other musical language elements. Eric McPherson drums are based on very different rhythmic formulas – active and dynamic rhythmic which is heard in much modern jazz styles, is connected with monotonous and static rhythmic. These sudden changes of rhythmic, harmonic, stylistic and melodic elements are the mian and the most important element of these compositions. It make the compositions to sound more lively, expressive and interesting. Individual playing manner and sound by each musician is revealed in the compositions and are masterfully twisted together. Gorgeous, colorful and very contrasting melodies are very different from each other and are illustrated by fine background which is contained of various separate sounds, strange timbres and constantly changing rhythmic. Wide range of extended playing techniques, variety of moods, styles and musical expressions and outstanding improvising make this album compositions to sound interesting, vivacious and bright.

6 thoughts on “Borderlands Trio – “Asteroidea” (Intakt Records, 2017)”

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