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The Tip of the Sword by Herwig - Beirach - DeJohnette

Three veritable jazz heavyweights align for a briskly moving and thoroughly modern program, steeped in galvanizing thematic encounters. Trombonist Conrad Herwig, heralded for his hip 'Latinizations' of jazz standards amid a progressive outline, exercises ample doses of pop and sizzle throughout many of these oscillating pieces. And, the lack of a bassist engenders a musical climate that offers a loose, open-air foundation for improvisation, sparked by all-universe drummer Jack DeJohnette's sweeping rolls and polyrhythmic timekeeping.

Pianist Richie Beirach serves as a catalyst and colorist while handling the implied bass parts via lower-register chord voicings, evidenced on the oscillating opener, "Where the Tip of the Sword Settles." Featuring a semi-structured game-plan, the trio delves into balladry or goes off the charts during movements where Herwig and associates render a consortium of blitzing aerial assaults. Indeed, the majority of these works spawn a bustling framework, although on "The Void," the trio offers lucid imagery of a mysterious panorama, executed by Herwig's dark lines and Beirach's delicate touch. Moreover, they explore hallowed vistas sans a firm rhythmic component, where DeJohnette shades the proceedings via his textural cymbals hits.

"Inner Sincerity" is a composition featuring the drummer's complex metrics in concert with his groove-based solo nestled within an undulating current, topped off by the pianist's melodic phrasings. Here, the soloists' project an optimistic vibe. Ultimately, the band delves into an abundance of mood-evoking segments and intermittently veers off-center. Herwig is a force to be reckoned with by providing an aggregation of disparate angles and seething improvisational flurries. Hence, it's a top-shelf product that uncovers additional insights and pleasantries on additional listens.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Herwig - Beirach - DeJohnette
  • CD Title: The Tip of the Sword
  • Genre: Various Jazz Styles
  • Year Released: 2012
  • Record Label: RadJazz
  • Musicians: Conrad Herwig (trombone), Richie Beirach (piano), Jack DeJohnette (drums)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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