*** The Andrew Cyrille Trio
GOOD TO GO (WITH A TRIBUTE TO BU)
"Bu" was the late Art Blakey, and it would be harder to find two more
different drum stylists than he and Cyrille. Blakey's drumming was about
exuberance and bold primary colors, broad gestures, gospel shouts. Cyrille
swings just as hard, but his playing is about metric precision, and the rainbow
spectrum of dynamics from wire brush on cymbal to bare palm on drum skins.
Blakey crowded his Jazz Messengers with a chorus of braying brass. Cyrille
reduces his group to percussion, bass (Lisle Atkinson), and flute (James
Newton). But in this narrow dynamic range, Cyrille finds Blakey's emotional
heft -- in the furious propulsion of his drumming, the directness of the blues
and standard song forms he and the band stick to, and Newton's unlimited
technique of mutiphonics, high whistled tones, vocalizations, and fiercely
articulated lines. Cyrille cut his chops with the avant-garde (Cecil Taylor),
but there are a few dandy hummable tunes here.
-- Jon Garelick