BassDrumBone, The Line Up

Britt Robson

By Britt Robson

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
An earthy and organic trio return for an eighth go-round.

The trio with the eponymous instrumentation does an impressive job of passing the solo baton and maintaining collective symmetry. It's no mean feat, given that Ray Anderson is a puissant trombonist who supplements frequently brusque passages with a bawdy, gamboling sense of humor. But after three decades and eight discs together playing for art and fun more than lucre and notoriety, drummer Gerry Hemingway and bassist Mark Helias know how to absorb, refract and accent Anderson in both bold and subtle fashion. Check the stretched-like-taffy, bowed bass notes and cymbal ballet coloring Anderson's elongated notes at the onset of “Rainbow,” the bass-and-drum beehive that the ‘bone bumps with squawks and yelps on the title cut, and the muscular bop solos battening down “A Cuppa” front, middle and back. When Helias breaks out the electric bass for “1,2,3″ it emphasizes how earthy and organic the trio sounds everywhere else — and produces a fiery Hemingway solo in response.