Click here to [close]

Friday, December 4, 2009

Charles Gayle Trio - Our Souls (NoBusiness, 2009) ***½

 Recorded live in June of this year at PIANO.LT in Vilnius, Lithuania, this new limited edition LP on the NoBusiness label will surely please the fans of Charles Gayle, who has now completely switched to alto. Dominic Duval plays bass and Arkadijus Gotesmanas drums, the latter one having taken the initiative for this session that is dedicated to the late Rashied Ali with whom Gayle performed a lot.

"Hearts Cry", the long first piece has Gayle on alto, playing quite intensely around a limited tonal center, without much highs or lows, all within a close range, taking some distance for a few moments to let Duval solo time, yet coming in again relentlessly. On "The Flood" he switches to piano, using extended techniques and dark, menacing thundering chords, alternated with quick runs with the right hand, sounding like flowing water, then slowing down to individual drops. "Love Changes" is more down-tempo, with the saxophonist moving into more spiritual blowing, measured almost, "Compassion" is boppish, with Duval's walking bass the solid backbone for the tune that slows down into what I think is the best part of the album, with more sensitive, heart-rending wailing, softer, with more tension and that moves seamlessly into the title track, with Duval's arco forming the bridge to Gayle's quick avant-garde piano intermezzo before all hell breaks loose again with the leader on sax and piano and shouts. Kudos to Gotesmanas here too, because his previous functional support, to a large extent co-determines the overall sound of the last piece. The crowd reacts enthusiastically. A nice addition to Gayle's catalogue without being essential. And yes ... LPs are short, too short ...

© stef