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The Fringe: Live in Israel

The terrible triumvirate from Boston has built its powerful, signature synergy by building modal collective improvisations of cohesion and grace. Bassist John Lockwood lays a red carpet (so silky you’d swear he were playing electric until he duets with his bow on “Our Fathers”); drummer Bob Gullatti and tenor saxophonist George Garzone is up and down, in and out, over and under his horn. The command and the groove are one. The Fringe’s ship of the desert sails as smoothly over the sands of Eilat as easily as if it were plying the Red Sea on sheets of sonic glass.

The bass-driven “Our Fathers” slides into slinky “On The Hump” (trimmed, as if for air play or CD length), Gullotti’s mallets as orotund on toms as if on tympani, thence Gullotti snaps fat brushes into the flashing “Desert Time.” “Response” shows flex-time, with sleek horn in the lead, Garzone varying tone, speed, and phrase with dashing drama. “Body and Soul” goes gentle and firm for all hands. The bass-rich mix emphasizes toms, E-string, and tenor’s bottom, as the audience is mixed far away. The trio navigates no mysterious realms at the Red Sea Jazz Festival, but follows its charted waters with confidence and poise. What a ride!

Originally Published