It's not unheard of for some trios not to use any type of drums or percussion instruments. So, is the case here with The Circle of Willis'
self-titled album. With the combination of harmonica, trombone, and piano, it gives off a unique sound right from the beginning.
With some background on these three musicians, they all have formidable resumes, but when all three are placed together, it's a different story. With no inside liner notes, it's really up to the listener to discern his/her own opinion of this. This is an extremely spacey, loosely-structured album that has very few highpoints, and a collection of head-scratching moments.
The first track The Pouch of Douglas is a quasi-blues type of tune. You can tell that a blues feel is what they are trying to achieve (perhaps in hopes to display Barrett's blues side) but it falls short of achieving what it initially sets up. The next track For Marie really makes you think "Did I just spend 6:17 listening to that?!?"
On the other hand, credit must
be given where credit is due. The fourth track, Mambo Lasaine and the sixth track, For Rose is incredible! (Henceforth, gaining the two stars it was given). These two tracks display this trio at their finest on this album. It has a very jewish-klezmer vibe. Hearing the effort given on these two tracks, it's a wonder that John Zorn hasn't nabbed these guys for his latest Masada Chamber Ensemble projects. In comparison, anyone who has heard this album has to wonder why more tracks like these weren't offered up in this album.LAST WORD:
This album isn't for everybody. Even though it may be closest to free jazz, it really lacks structure and definition. If you're really looking for something that has definite free jazz elements, skip this one. But...if for some reason, you've just come back from the circus and you are experiencing a really intense acid trip, this album is PERFECT for you.