Tied & Tickled Trio Ea1 Ea2

Third stream jazz, a term coined by Gunther Schuller in the early '50s to describe his music and that of bop-era non-conformists such as Lennie Tristano and Jimmy Giuffre, has been an obsolete term for decades, supplanted by the more odious "fusion" designation. Third stream music always implied a strong sense of formal European compositional practices, and it's an apt term to describe the Tied and Tickled Trio. The groove isn't dominated by contemporary influences; like the Lounge Lizards, these Germans know how to explore just the right amount of swing and balance it with more subtle ingredients. In particular, the Pole-like electronics (maybe that's why the last tune is called "4 Pole") that appear throughout are particularly effective. The horn arrangements and playing are also worthy, avoiding the third stream pitfall of being too clever and introverted. Ultimately, the songs are well ordered on the CD, which enhances the flow of ideas from song to song. In addition, the songs and the CD itself never overstay their welcome, clocking in at a total time of 33 minutes. You don't feel emotionally and mentally taxed after listening to EA1 EA2, but rather, you want to go back and catch all the little details you missed. (Drag City)