Incredibly intense jazz sessions from this band, somewhat surprising to me because most of the looking-back jazz that I’ve heard has been unnecessarily unoriginal. The piano lines that Chris begins “Big Foot” with rival anything speed-wise that such great pianists as Earl Hines could do. The bass lines put down by Simon Fisk during the opening compromise an metaphorical and literal bridge that really bring all three instruments into something much more cohesive. With very few of these tracks being near what would be considered radio-friendly in the sense of time duration, the only place that any of these cuts would be heard are the local PBS and traditional jazz stations, but the sheer fact is that more people should go out and try to listen to the Simon Fisk Trio. While the disc itself is about a year and a half old, the music that the album contains is something that cannot be tied down to a specific genre or style – it is as applicable and vital in 1950 as it is now, in 2004. The emotive force of tracks like “Something of All”, with the fleeting burst of music issued forth from all three instruments, ebbing and flowing like the waves upon a beach. Coming from an electric bassist’s point of view, I can definitely see the intelligence and virtuosity of Simon Fisk, creating a dichotomy that pits the note that ey plays with the notes ey does not play at equal footing. Moving into the open winters-fire tones of “Some Sort of Spiritual”, we are left with a much earthier tone to the entire act – the cymbal splashes of Tom sound like the pitter-patter of rain in puddles. Coming into the much more chaotic “The One”, where the intrusion of a starlet completely throws the course off for the John Anyman – the bass, long a symbol of constancy, increasingly out of control. The conformity of the John’s life is shown by the repetition of the piano lines during the song. While this is the first jazz album I’ve had to review for the magazines, I really felt myself getting into the disc. This is frankly not a disc that an individual could use as road trip fodder, but really should be savored like a fine wine – sitting comfortably in the favorite chair and with a nice atmosphere around.
Rating : 7.1/10
Top Tracks : Big Foot, The One
Simon Fisk Trio – Trainwrecks / 11 Tracks / 2002 Plunge Records / http://www.plungerecords.com / Reviewed 26 January 2004