The New York City Jazz Record review by Stuart Broomer

BassDrumBone – The Other Parade (CF 223)
The trio of bassist Mark Helias, drummer Gerry Hemingway and trombonist Ray Anderson -BassDrumBone – is among the longest running bands in jazz history. The three met in New Haven in 1977 and made their first record, Oahspe (Auricle), in 1978 at that city’s Educational Center for the Arts, when agroup of this instrumentation was far less likely than it is today. That first recording featured compositions by all three members of the group, a practice that continues in the present with The Other Parade, with three pieces by each of the musicians. In this context each of the composers is oddly reminiscent of Horace Silver and Bobby Timmons, endowed with the ability to marry strong folk elements- whether blues, gospel, ballad and march – with subtle complexities of harmony and rhythm that will feed extended improvisation. Those roots are even in the sounds of their instruments, including the parade snare rattle of Hemingway and the guitar-like textures that Helias sometimes explores and it’s paramount in the work of Anderson, a trombonist of almost unmatched breadth, developing the instrument’s vocal tradition that runs out from early New Orleans to the present: he can sputter and burp, giggle and wail, with or without a mute, shifting timbre on successive notes at high speed, not just an individual erupting or eructating, but a crowd issuing involuntary noises and responding with mirth. Those rapid flights into the upper register are matched by some miracles of articulation, whether it’s the bluster of his own “King Louisian”, the blues of Helias’ “Blue Light Down the Line” or the brilliantly executed multiple tonguing of Hemingway’s “Show Tuck”.It’s easy for a bassist and drummer to fade into the shadows with a presence as virtuosic as Anderson, but that doesn’t happen in this band, with Helias and Hemingway – masters of the deliberated gesture, the structural nuance, the new detail. The result is music of a consistently high level that investigates and reinvents the tradition at will.

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