Which Is Which
Reed’s Bass Drum is a Brooklyn based trio jazz collective which is focusing on music composition as dialogue for the drums, bass and baritone saxophone. While the dialogue may not speak to you directly, it does have something to say.
The trio consists of Jonah Parzen-Johnson on baritone, Noah Garabedian on bass and Aaron Ewing on drums. While not the first time a trio format has featured these instruments, it is a different set-up from the usual piano, bass and drum trios of the past and present.
Third song in titled “Changes” gives an example of what changes Reed’s Bass Drum is trying to achieve, though any baritone player cannot escape sounding like past baritone players. Steady bass line from Garabedian with a stop start format then off to the races. This is almost a cousin to any sort of up-tempo Mulligan composition.
Since this is a trio format, there is ample opportunity for the musicians and the musicianship to grow and be shown. “At a Glance” is an example of this. This allows bassist Garabedian and drummer Ewing to play around in time signatures and point/counter-point without getting too complicated or sounding messy.
The album ends with “Yatra” and it could not be a finer ending. Parzen-Johnsons stands solo on the introduction followed by Garabedian on mimic lined bass. Drummer Ewing’s brush drumming bass only adds to the overall texture.
While the compositions are strong, there is always going to be that comparisons to other baritones. While that is not a bad thing, when a collective is trying to move forward and not be compared or contrasted to the previous, it will be hard. Reed’s Bass Drum have their walkin’ shoes on and are moving in the right direction.