By: Harvey Sorgen / Joe Fonda / Marilyn Crispell
Catalog No: MW 977-2
Price: 12 EUR
With six collective compositions plus two by Joe Fonda, one from Paul Motian, and the title track by Bob Windbiel, the free improvising trio of Marilyn Crispell on piano, Joe Fonda on bass, and Harvey Sorgen on drums find lyrical beauty and masterfully controlled power in this superb album of creative free jazz, a remarkable example of the modern piano trio.
1. My Song - 6:18
2. Portrait - 5:24
3. Landscape - 3:23
4. Our Own Tea Leaves - 3:53
5. Dreamstruck - 5:36
6. Read This - 7:47
7. Area 52 - 5:31
8. Both Sides of the Ocean - 6:07
9. On Bellagio - 6:59
10. Kalypso – 5:21
Recorded at Area 52 Studios, Saugerties, New York, January - March 2018
Marilyn Crispell – piano
Joe Fonda – bass
Harvey Sorgen – drums
What the critics say:
Drummer/composer/educator Harvey Sorgen boasts an impressive worked with/recorded with resume. His highest profile booster might be a handful of recordings with the Jefferson Airplane offshoot Hot Tuna, followed by a number of releases with bassist Joe Fonda and the Fonda/Stevens Group. With Fonda involved, you know you'll hear some left-of-center sounds. Dreamstruck teams Fonda with Sorgen, and brings pianist Marilyn Crispell in for a piano trio affair featuring several scrambled three-way, in-the- moment improvisations and four "written" turns, two by Fonda, one by guitarist Bill Windbiel and one by the late drummer Paul Motian.
Sorgen crafts spontaneous, complex rhythmic layerings and expansive textures and colors here; Fonda is muscular and succinct. Crispell—with six ECM Records sets in her resume, amongst them working solo and with Motian and Gary Peacock—has a way of distinguishing herself in a piano trio outing, with wandering lines and crisp interjections, and surprises lurking behind every corner.
Dreamscape is a wonder of in-the-moment-ness. It is forthright and in-your-face ("Area"); ghostly and dreamscape-like ("My Song"); full of uncentered melodic beauty ("Landscape"); thorny, teetering along the edge ("Our Own Tea Leaves"); and gorgeously minimalist and majestic ("Dreamstruck"). And in the piano trio game, they sound like no other out there.
All three players are idiosyncratically original in their approaches. The same can be said of the collective sound. Austere for the most part, the music benefits from a ruminative patience of delivery and the fortuitous entanglement of three strong musical personalities.
(review courtesy of Dan McClenaghan and All About Jazz)
On Dreamstruck, the trio of drummer Harvey Sorgen, bassist Joe Fonda, and pianist Marilyn Crispell offer distinctive and fascinating interplay that explores the contours of romance, blues, free playing, and abstraction.
For the most part, the three musicians eschew formality in favor of spontaneous compositions that emphasize inventive contributions. But included in the mix are two Fonda originals ("My Song" and "Read This"), the title piece "Dreamstruck" (composed by Bob Windbiel) and the delightful "Kalypso" (composed by the late great drummer Paul Motian). This helps to explain the variety of moods set forth in the music, moods that evoke early morning skies of gray and blue and late afternoon sunsets of orange and yellow.
On many of the numbers, the trio gently feels its way along the outlines of the composition, as one might when uncertain of footing in a dark and unfamiliar room. Take for example the long foggy notes of Fonda's bowing in "My Song" and the way the piece comes to a conclusion which does not end but simply dangles on a string. Or Sorgen's all-over drumming on "Portrait," "Read This," or "Our Own Tea Leaves," the sheer virtuosity of it, while remaining in the background for most of the album, only rising with flourishes that are interjected between musical phrases. Or Crispell's broad and narrow piano attacks and phrases, sounding at times like Cecil Taylor (on "Area 52") and at other times like Keith Jarrett (on "Kalypso"), but mostly like herself—lyrical and bluesy abstractions interlaced with ruminating free flourishes.
To work across such a broad spectrum of moods and color, the musicians must hone their art by listening and responding. This album demonstrates collaboration at its finest. Standout pieces include the free form "Area 52," the lyrical "Dreamstruck," the soft azure tone poem "Both Sides Of The Ocean," and the joyous "Kalypso."
One hopes that this trio works together again in the future (and soon). Until then, listeners will have to satisfy their cravings with Dreamstruck and the imaginative offerings contained therein. Enjoy!
(review courtesy of Don Phipps and All About Jazz)
The Fonda/Stevens Group Trio + 2
The Nu Band, In Memory of Mark Whitecage
Carlo Morena, Joe Fonda, Felix Lecaros Herrera
Uwe Oberg, Joe Fonda, Lucía Martínez
Fonda - Stevens Group