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

Trio Beyond: Saudades

Trio Beyond

According to leader Jack DeJohnette, Trio Beyond is based on the Tony Williams Lifetime, a pioneering outfit that, like fusion itself, spanned the gamut from rough and raging to slick and simmering. DeJohnette, of course, is well versed in the period: In 1969, he replaced Williams in Miles Davis’ band-just in time to record Bitches Brew. Yet the drummer’s take on Trio Beyond, which also includes guitarist John Scofield and keyboardist Larry Goldings, is somewhat misleading. Throughout the electric-jazz era, drummer Williams used the Lifetime moniker for a variety of lineups, the first and most famous of which featured guitarist John McLaughlin and organist Larry Young. It’s that Lifetime-and not later, less celebrated versions-that DeJohnette honors on Saudades, Trio Beyond’s double-disc debut.

Granted, the trio dabbles in some Williams-era Miles (“Seven Steps to Heaven,” “I Fall in Love Too Easily” and “Pee Wee”), opens with a Young-associated tune written by Joe Henderson (“If”) and dips into two tracks (“Big Nick” and “Allah Be Praised”) from 1970’s Turn It Over, Lifetime’s Jack Bruce-augmented sophomore release. In terms of sound and performance, however, the London-recorded Saudades is nothing if not a paean to 1969’s Emergency!, Lifetime’s sprawling, double-LP debut. MC5-influence aside, that album-the only release to feature the original Williams-McLaughlin-Young lineup-is steeped in hard-boppin’ organ-trio music. And that’s the track that Trio Beyond takes throughout this 2004 concert.

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