Ravish Momin’s Trio Tarana – Miren (A Longing) (CF 087)
My tastes in jazz almost go everywhere. While I tend to move away from the smooth,I will definitely flock to the bumpy, where things aren’t conventional to deserve a golf clap. I tend to seek the creative, forward thinkers, those who want to expand on the ideas, even improv over the improv, and percussionist Ravish Momin and his Trio Tarana do this on Miren (A Longing).
The album consists of six songs throughout the 54 minute duration, allowing the musicians to explore the potential of their compositions. Momin’s name may be on the cover and thus will generally be the focus upon listening, but his trio includes Sam Bardfeld on violin and Brandon Terzic on oud. You read that right, drums and percussion, violin and oud. Even though the violin can be found in jazz’s recorded history (Stephane Grappelli, Jean Luc Ponty, and Regina Carter come to mind), it’s still foreign tamongst a territory of saxophonists, trumpeters, drummers, pianists, bassists, and singers. Upon hearing Bardfeld’s violin in songs like “What Reward?” and “Tehrah”, it sounds different and you’re not quite sure what to expect. Time signatures seem to be what they appear to be at first, but then Bardfeld and Terzik start to solo with each other as Momin retains his captin position, and it’s hard to tell if they are playing in 3/4 or taking Indian music notation and play in various different time signatures, before returning to the song’s theme.
The oud works as a bass, and mixed in with Momim’s drumming. it sounds like a music worlds away from anything anyone has ever heard. Some of the material here have the feel of Klezmer, or maybe it’s a Middle Eastern sound, and yet the core of it all is still jazz, a wordly united struggle composed with sound. This trio could have taken the easy way out and dished out another world music fusion disc, but it’s a bit left of center, almost avant-garde at times. Free but still with some sense of structure, eclectic but without going too deep into the unknown. Anyone familiar with the music of Carla Kihlstedt, Joelle Leandre, Jennifer Choi, Rashied Ali, Susie Ibarra, or Creed Taylor will find Miren (A Longing) to be an unexpected pleasure.