ballad bop Archive

The Sugar Hill Trio – Drive – Goschart Music

The Sugar Hill Trio – Drive – Goschart Music

The Sugar Hill Trio – Drive – Goschart Music 031547 [Distr. by CD Baby], 51:26 (9/12/16) ***1/2: A sax-led trio with an advanced approach. The Sugar Hill Trio describes itself as a “modern-day, innovative/avant-garde jazz combo” which is open enough to cover almost anything approximately jazz-like in sound. In fact, their approach to the tradition involves a quite recognizable formula. Starting from the bottom up, the bass (duties split between Leon Boykins and Dylan Shamat) powers the unit with strong walking lines that measure out the changes, veering little from their rhythmic path except to add some scrambling figures or ostinato. This frees the drums to walk across the stream, stirring up all sorts of swirls and sprays of shimmering rhythmic detail. In this case, the drummer, Austin Walker, has a delightfully hyper-kinetic approach to the kit; he certainly seems to be following Sam River’s dictum to “leave nothing out.”  The saxophone plays the head, then long solos on the changes, and returns to the head to close out. Skilled jazz musicians can run over changes on such a chart with impressive facility, and this player, Christian Torkewitz, is in the super-skilled class. This approach to jazz requires impressive suite […]