Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Joe Maneri Trio: The Trio Concerts

Saxophonist/clarinetist/pianist Joe Maneri is a fine innovator in style and technique. That artistry, however, doesn’t always transfer to his records. These three releases do not capture his unique microtonal techniques properly: they are all less-than-spectacular live recordings. What Maneri needs more than live albums are serious, intentional studio recordings, like the ones he has made for ECM. On these outings, Maneri plays with great vitality and refinement, but the results aren’t consistently worthy of release.

The best album of this bunch is the second disc of The Trio Concerts. Backed by Randy Peterson on drums and son Mat Maneri on violin, this date from November 1998 shows the trio in prime form. Joe Maneri switches back and forth between alto and tenor saxophones, clarinet and piano as the trio enjoys a great exchange of ideas throughout the set, with each member given opportunity to showcase his own voice. The treasures of the second CD are tarnished, however, by the mediocrity of disc one. The recording, made 13 months prior, is atrociously poor. The uneven microphone setup makes Peterson so much louder than the other musicians, and when the trio plays in unison Joe Maneri is inaudible at times.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published