Live at the Bimhuis
Trombonist Wolter Wierbos has been on a lot of recordings over the last few decades, but very few under his own name, and he rarely composes. Yet his personal stamp is so strong that no matter who's leading a session, he frequently becomes a de facto co-leader. That's certainly the case on Live at the Bimhuis (TryTone), a new trio recording led by the drummer Victor De Boo. The striking musical empathy displayed between Wierbos and electric guitarist Anton Goudsmit brings to mind the beguiling postbop flights of fancy George Lewis and Bill Frisell achieved in the News for Lulu project with John Zorn. De Boo penned the bulk of the tunes, most of them in a loose postbop bag, and they give the two melodists plenty to chew on; what they spit out is a breathless stream of ultrasensitive, contrapuntal melodic interplay. Once in a while the emphasis moves toward color and texture; here Goudsmit's pedal-heavy playing can sound like generic Berklee lessons, but Wierbos dazzles, extracting a dizzyingly broad array of tailgate slides, rumbling farts and upper-register cries that never scuttle his deep lyrical ability.