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Mountains And Plains by Rich Halley Trio

Saxophonist Rich Halley continues to explore new avenues on his latest release, Mountains And Plains. Working in a trio setting, Halley offers up a robust yet clean sound, weaving in and around melodies with vigor, intrigue, and fire.

"The Rub" features a delicate blend of bravado sax and attentive accompaniment. With start stop rhythmic patterns; Halley uses the trio to maximum effect. Always searching for that next surprise, the trio's cohesiveness and balance move the music in new and exciting directions. Reed's expressive bass along with Storr's creative stick work act as the glue that keeps the piece together.

Storr's propulsive intro to "Mountains And Plains" acts as a catalyst for Halley's far reaching explorations. The trio delivers a clean yet direct sound. Halley dances around the melody with joy and precision. Storr and Reed's welcomed interlude is sheer delight.

Halley carries on the tradition of masters like Dexter Gordon, Archie Shepp, and even John Coltrane. "Long Valley" showcases the flexibility of the trio. Everyone is working toward a single reward. Never afraid to take chances, Halley continuously stretches the melody molding it into various shapes and sizes.

There is a sense of mystery surrounding "Distant Peaks." Storrs weaves an intriguing tale. With taste and control, he creates a framework for Halley to explore. One never knows where the trio is going. This can only heighten the moment. The trio delivers on all counts.

Reed and Storrs offer up an introspective intro on "Before Dawn." Caressing and plucking the strings, Reed is able to demonstrate his creative prowess. Halley's sax never sounded better.

"Winter Sky" is a more traditional outing. Reed walks his bass in perfect tempo. Halley's creamy textures and smooth delivery enrich the moment.

Mountains And Plains works well on many levels. Creative writing, great sound, and seasoned musicianship add up to a session filled with beauty and wonder. Solid performances from Reed and Storrs elevate the trio to a higher standard.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Rich Halley Trio
  • CD Title: Mountains And Plains
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Louie Records
  • Tracks: Problematic, Long Valley, The Rub, Before Dawn, Three Way Shapes, Mountains And Plains, Intermountain Rhumba, Distant Peaks, Winter Sky
  • Musicians: Rich Halley (tenor sax, soprano sax, percussion), Clyde Reed (bass), Dave Storrs (drums, percussion, vocals)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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