Playful and smart interactions between trio members make Words and Music
by the David White Trio
an engaging small group effort. A Massachusetts-based guitarist, White was mentored by pianist Joanne Brackeen and has taken on many of her characteristic skepticisms about strictly following standard time signatures and song forms. Bassist John Lockwood and drummer Jeff Ballard round out the trio.
All but two of the tunes on this CD are White's own compositions. The two covers are tunes that you are very unlikely to find on any other jazz CD: the slow movement of Hindemith's Piano Sonata No. 1, and Led Zeppelin's "The Ocean." White freely admits that his arrangement of Hindemith's music is a "somewhat liberal translation", but he enriches his treatment with statements on both electric and acoustic guitar, and produces an satisfying interpretation of Hindemith's dense and unusual harmonies. "The Ocean" is given a rollicking instrumental workout worthy of its place in the Zeppelin cannon.
White has molded his electric guitar sound after 70's-era fusion greats like Allan Holdsworth and Pat Metheny, filling it out with sensible use of chorus and other effects. His sound compliments the music that he creates, and works nicely within the context of an otherwise acoustic trio. Jazz writer Fred Bouchard sums up the band's sound in the CD liner notes thusly: "This is witty music. Not gleeful "ha ha!" but satisfied "hm hm
". If witty, playful music from a fusion-influenced guitar trio is what you are looking for, then this album is sure to satisfy.