Barry Altschul The 3DOM Factor

Barry Altschul The 3DOM Factor
8
At 70, drummer/composer Barry Altschul sounds like a vigorous 30. Overflowing with ideas and energy, he steers his power trio (bassist Joe Fonda, tenor saxophonist Jon Irabagon and himself) through muscular music with a vision sharpened by decades of experience. Drummer for the likes of Paul Bley, Anthony Braxton and Sam Rivers, Altschul knows a thing or two about how freedom and discipline interact in real-time groups. And he brings that battletested wisdom to compositions like "Martin's Stew," which is dauntingly complex, but navigated with certainty and grace. Irabagon is on fire on every one of the album's ten tunes. Searing tone, deft phrasing, tongue slaps, multiphonics and endlessly inventive lines at hair-raising tempos, the saxist is a worthy foil for the trio's leader. Bassist Fonda thrives on the tunes' structural challenges; he is always in the pocket, in form and on "Be Out S'Cool," for example, his solo is inspired. One quibble with this excellent album: the EQ on the bass is unnatural and boom-y (Fonda's tone doesn't need an engineer's help). Free jazz aficionados should track The 3DOM Factor down. (TUM)