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Live on the Vaughan Mall by Trio Encompas

Trio Encompas - Live on the Vaughan Mall the second album by this post-bop trio has, this time out, captured a more energetic rhythm section. The band takes off from the start with a Sonny Rollins tune "Freedom Suite" the drummer, Mike Walsh drives the tune with a free wheeling Max Roach approach. A Keith composition follows, "Sisters" a slow moving ballad that loses its edge when Keith is not playing the saxophone.

Thom Keith has a nice voice on alto saxophone, the tunes that feature the alto are the tunes that sound the most together. The bass playing of Blakeslee is tight, there are moments when his playing is up in the mix and the bottom end is full and round. The track, "Yrrehs Mas" by Keith is an example of everything working and sounding as it should. These moments occur when Blakeslee is producing sustained - loose acoustic bass notes.

For a live recording, it is of a fairly good quality. The liner notes, as scant as they are, indicate the album was recorded using a Korg PXR4 with an onboard condenser microphone, straight off the floor with no editing. The last statement is in reference to a second take of one of the songs, the first take with a title, "Just Messin’ With Ya" at less than half a minute is a misfire to the track entitled "Jetlag Blues" a composition by bassist, Jonathan Blakeslee.

The trio recording in the live setting has allowed the musicians to approach the music with a different spirit, more energy from the rhythm section and a different groove, not held as tightly in check by the recording studio ambiance, the drums and bass actually swing at times. The highlight is the cover tune, straight up contemporary jazz by Sonny Rollins, a quality interpretation and something the trio should consider doing some more of.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Trio Encompas
  • CD Title: Live on the Vaughan Mall
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Bayview Sax
  • Tracks: Freedom Suite, Sisters, Sunspots, Yrrehs Mas, Sea Foam, Just Messin’ With Ya, Jetlag Blues, Encanto de Salva
  • Musicians: Thom Keith (alto, tenor, baritone saxophone), Jonathan Blakeslee (bass), Mike Walsh (drums)
  • Rating: Two Stars
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