Sheppard/Benita/Rochford: Trio Libero (ECM/Ode)

 |   |  1 min read

Sheppard/Benita/Rochford: When We Live On the Stars
Sheppard/Benita/Rochford: Trio Libero (ECM/Ode)

This elegant and sinuously lyrical album features two generations of British jazz musicians; saxophonist Andy Sheppard who came to prominence in the post-Marsalis years in the Eighties alongside Courtney Pine in the vanguard of UK scene, and drummer/composer Seb Rochford (interviewed here) whose geometric style comes full of odd angles and accents which launched him into the spotlight more recently with the bands Polar Bear and Acoustic Ladyland.

The other point on the triangle is French bassist Michel Benita whom Sheppard had met while living and playing in Paris in the Eighties.

Sheppard's previous ECM album was very different (tabla player, electronics) but these spare pieces are full of space and languor and they stretch easily as Sheppard's long Garbarek-like tone moves across a backdrop of arco bass and subtle percussion punctuations (Spacewalk Parts 1 and 2).

Or there is that barely-there quality so familiar on ECM recordings (Dia Da Liberdade), although despite it's title Land of Nod has a bounce in its step as Rochford lays down enticingly unusual patterns before Sheppard enters with a quirky melodic line.

So just when you come to expect the familiar, the direction changes and bends the music into different and enjoyably odd shapes.

The woody ballad The Unconditional Secret at the midpoint again recalls Garbarek although Sheppard has a warmer tone, and Lots of Stairs is like tone poem of haiku economy.

Most of these pieces are credited to the trio and were worked out from sessions of pure improvisation, and that lends coherence to an album which succeeds through understatement and seductively simple melodies played with deep emotional attachment.

Quite the quiet gem.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

Daniel Herskedal: Voyage (Edition/digital outlets)

Daniel Herskedal: Voyage (Edition/digital outlets)

Jazz tuba is not rare but certainly uncommon: among the great players are Bob Stewart who played on a dozen or so albums with Arthur Blythe; Howard Johnson for whom tuba is among his artillery and... > Read more

Elephant9: Greatest Show on Earth (Rune Grammofon/Southbound)

Elephant9: Greatest Show on Earth (Rune Grammofon/Southbound)

It has been some while since we introduced the Rune Grammofon jazz-and-elsewhere label out of Norway. And with this return bout we warn immediately that Elephant9 – a trio of... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Leonard Cohen; Songs of Leonard Cohen

THE BARGAIN BUY: Leonard Cohen; Songs of Leonard Cohen

Given his cheerful stage demeanor these days it's a bit hard to reconcile Leonard Cohen with the man who was once referred to as Laughing Len or The One Man Joy Division on account of his serious,... > Read more

THE SIXTIES: THE BRITISH INVASION; a Prime television documentary

THE SIXTIES: THE BRITISH INVASION; a Prime television documentary

As this hour-long doco proves, just because there isn't anything new to say doesn't mean you don't say it . . . with footage. One of the executive producers of this Sixties series, Tom Hanks,... > Read more