Monday, March 11, 2013

Review: BD Trio- Live 17.02.2013

In my unguarded moments I've been known to suggest that the jazz audience is as large as it's ever been.  In fact, I claim, millions of jazz fans are hiding in plain view.  One such contingent is devoted to the sound of jam bands.

Some projects make the connection particularly apparent.  Live 17.02.2013 by the BD Trio probably has more immediate appeal to fans of Phish than of Sonny Rollins.  The grouping of Luke Polipnick, Ben Leifer and Brandon Draper was recorded at Take Five Coffee + Bar on February 16. 2013.  The accompanying notes explain that "(t)his is an entirely improvised double set of music and the first time Brandon, Ben and Luke played together as a trio."

The peripatetic Draper is an astoundingly gifted and playfully hyperactive percussionist.  He's best known among Plastic Sax readers as a member of Alaturka.  The recording contains about 1:45 minutes of his prodigious playing.  He's never boring.  The contribution of Polipnick, a guitarist based in Omaha, contains a similarly broad array of textures.  Leifer is an elite player in a town full of monster bassists. My sole complaint with the recording is that my headphones and speakers don't convey the depth of Leifer's sound. 

As with any extended set of improvisations, there are a handful of segments in which the trio searches for new insights.  Such lulls only serve to make the extraordinary moments even more exciting.  The trio manages to catch several towering waves of inspiration.

Live 17.02.2013 is the first official release that takes advantage of the superb acoustics at Take Five Coffee + Bar.  There's plenty of ambient noise and lots of enthusiastic shouting from a voice that's familiar to anyone who's visited the Leawood establishment.  The free download is highly recommended to fans of Charlie Hunter, Marco Benevento, Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood and the individual participants.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

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