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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Glue - Chats With The Real McCoy (CS, 2014) ****½

By Stef

The origin of the English term "the real McCoy" are multiple, but in general it means "the real thing", and that's what you can say about this fantastic trumpet trio, Glue, with Tom Arthurs on trumpet, Miles Perkin on bass and Yorgos Dimitriadis on percussion.

This is the second release by Glue, and I must admit that I did not know the band, so I cannot compare their evolution. Their first release can be purchased via the label. Perkins and Arthurs also played together before on "Objects In Mirrors Are Closer Than They Appear".

Arthurs has released trumpet trio albums before, with Jasper Høiby and Stu Ritchie on "Explications", but like his duo albums with pianist Richard Fairhurst, his tone was usually warm, and his playing "inside", with a high level of abstraction in his playing at times, but always accessible. So for listeners knowing the trumpeter only from his previous albums will get a surprise here. The trio goes into full avant-garde or free improv mode, playing carefully paced and placed notes and phrases in a quite intimate and deeply felt interaction. The slight inclination towards classical romanticism and jubilant phrases are absent here.

What you get goes beyond any pattern, but beautifully, full of surprises yet relatively accessible, or more accessible at least than we are used to from the label. Yet they are line with the label's overall approach to music, to create quiet, yet incredibly intense sonic universes, without real soloing, but rather with only one task for the musicians, to create a coherent and unique sound, as the result of the instruments playing their sparse notes on an open canvas of silence. The result is absolutely great, primarily because of the dynamic nature of the music.

Even if there is no rhythm or harmonic development, the sounds move forward, little notes get stretched, accentuated by dry percussive beats, wails turn into dogs wimpering, a pluck on a bass emphasises the loneliness, or the color shifts completely, as on the last track, on which the percussion gives a solid rumbling foundation supporting the monotonous trumpet extending vibrant tones shimmering above the dark undertones of the bass. Less is more, but here with substance and depth.

Highly recommended!


emelt said...

Great recommendation. Fantastic album.