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Joey Baron and Barondown: Crackshot

From the opening strains of Baron’s sexy, teasing drum shots, Ellery Eskelin’s raucous tenor sax, and Steve Swell’s gutbucket trombone, you know that this is going to be a fun album. It’s free blowing, but with dynamic verve and a sense of whimsy.

This unique trio recording has Baron’s multi-layered, shifting patterns of rhythm bracing the meanderings of Swell and Eskelin, sometimes together in unison or harmony, and then on flights of fancy.

This 1995 recording was released on the overseas Disk Union/Avant series in a John Zorn production, and is now available here. With this line-up, it’s a stripped down package, the bare essentials for a group dynamic.

The album showcases Baron’s very melodious post-modern drumming, with crisp, articulated, solo passages. The disc also features all Baron compositions, with room for staccato bursts, seemingly unlinked by melody or lyricism, but somehow still very musical. The hearty songs are really riffs for exploration, soul taken downtown.

Originally Published