The Tuba Trio Chronicles

Review by Willard Maus

Here is more free jazz, this time from Joseph Daley, the composer/brass player and his cohorts Warren Smith (percussion) and Scott Robinson (woodwinds), working together under the heading of The Tuba Trio. Their new cd pays tribute to their idol, the visionary free-jazz pioneer, Sam Rivers, who lit up the avant-garde scene back in the 60s and 70s with his NYC loft concerts at Studio RivBea.

One of Rivers’ famous compositions, Beatrice, dedicated to his wife and “partner is everything,”, is revisited by The Tuba Trio, who put their own stamp on the tune, playing tuba, vibraphone and bass flute/tenor sax, respectively, to suffuse it with a shimmering, ethereal beauty. The other six compositions are all originals by Daley, who has also won plaudits for his work as a sideman for such bandleaders as Gil Evans, Carla Bley and Charlie Haden.

All three of the musicians on THE CHRONICLES play multiple instruments to achieve their unique sound (including euphonium, marimba, theremin and Chinese cymbals). Together they go from dark to light, mellow sax to fiery brass, slashing drums to delicate tinklings. The complex, always-changing, evocative music will clear your ears and brain, make you think of jazz in a new way.