Innovative and uncharacteristic interpretations of standards would be the best way to describe Inside Out's
new CD, "What Is This Thing"
. Inside Out is a pianoless trio composed of veteran musicians Lorne Lofsky on guitar, Kieran Overs on bass, and drummer/leader Barry Romberg.
Listeners seeking fresh music may be tempted to pass this CD by when they spot such often-tiresome standard fare as "Autumn Leaves" and "All Blues" on the track listing. But don't be fooled into thinking that this is just another CD of jazz musicians blowing the same old stuff over standard chord progressions. What Inside Out has created on this CD is a prime example of how versatile and experienced musicians can use their improvising skills and advanced interplay to move well-known tunes into previously uncharted territory.
Their music is not totally "free jazz"; instead it represents the potential of free-form conversational improvisations to produce performances that have little or no characteristics in common with traditional jazz treatments of well-known standards, and yet occupy a framework that stays structured enough so as not to alienate mainstream jazz listeners. Much of the band's approach is similar to the tempo and time shifts, modulations, and harmonic substitutions utilized by Miles Davis' great late-60's acoustic band.
The standards "purist" may have some difficulty grappling the material that this trio puts forth, but if you are looking for an exciting and unique take on traditionally familiar material, then you will not be disappointed with this CD.