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

PALLE MIKKELBORG PROFILED (2013): Another man with a horn

PALLE MIKKELBORG PROFILED (2013): Another man with a horn

The curious thing about the career of Denmark's acclaimed jazz trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg is that after 25-years as a professional -- and at the top of his game -- he came to wide international... > Read more

TOMASZ STANKO INTERVIEWED (2009): A blow for freedom

TOMASZ STANKO INTERVIEWED (2009): A blow for freedom

To hear trumpeter Tomasz StaƄko tell it, life in Poland in the 1960s might not have been quite as grim and mono-chromatic as we believe. -Certainly there was the irony of playing free jazz in... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

George Harrison: Ding Dong Ding Dong (1974)

George Harrison: Ding Dong Ding Dong (1974)

When George Harrison released this well produced but lightweight song in December '74 on his album Dark Horse, he held great hopes that it would become a New Year's Eve anthem. He'd actually... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Sola Rosa

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Sola Rosa

As Sola Rosa, Andrew Spraggon has previously brought reggae, Latin, soul and hip-hip into seamless electronica albums which have placed him on the world stage. And on his new album Low and... > Read more