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Trio Encompas by Trio Encompas

Trio Encompas have produced a self titled debut album, a studio recording with some nice playing by Thom Keith, primarily on alto saxophone and at times quite reminiscent of Jackie McLean. The trio plays in a post-bop style, there are moments when some nice saxophone improvising occurs. The rhythm section of Blakeslee and Walsh, bass and drums respectively, provide satisfactory support.

The opening track "Jetlag Blues" composed by Jonathan Blakeslee, is a straight eighth note marching rhythm that allows Thom Keith, on alto to rove freely. He develops a nice feel and plays lyrically throughout the song.

Most of the compositions are weak,repetitive rhythms, the structure is very open. On the track "Continental Drift" it starts with only drums, tapping with out substance, the song never develops into anything of substance. The complete track is five minutes of introduction.

The same tapping, as mentioned above continues into the next track, tapping on drum rims, muffled tom-tom sounds, a few cymbal shots - about one minute of drum solo to introduce Keith who attacks the tune with passion. The bass player joins in after another twenty-four bars of free spirited saxophone wailing with another marching style pulse, allowing Keith to improvise to a straight ahead moderate tempo, but of a repetitive nature.

There is a ballad on the album, "Sea Foam" credited to the trio, it begins with some inspired bass playing and builds to a song that has a nice groove with all members of the trio coming from the same place. The trio blends and creates a full sound, the bassist, at the slower tempo utilizes sustain to good effect. The drummer makes use of his cymbals to create a hot sound, a sizzle that allows the bass player to flow.

The final track of the album "Sunspots" another track composed by the trio, goes back to the marching pulse and once again features Keith on the alto, with some good sounding saxophone playing.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Trio Encompas
  • CD Title: Trio Encompas
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Avant Coast
  • Tracks: Jetlag Blues, Continental Drift, Small Farmer’s Fight Song, Sea Foam, Yrrehs Mas, Sisters, Sunspots
  • Musicians: Thom Keith (alto, tenor, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet), Jonathan Blakeslee (bass), Mike Walsh (drums)
  • Rating: Two Stars
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