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FREE JAZZ, AN OVERVIEW OF NEW FREE JAZZ. A PLACE TO SHARE IDEAS ON FREEJAZZ, FREE  MUSIC, MODERN JAZZ, FOLK JAZZ AND AVANT-GARDE JAZZ
 
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2007
David Haney Trio - Blues Royale (CIMP, 2007) ****
 
For an avant-garde pianist to set up a program to cover the blues is 
quite exceptional. Traditional blues are in essence in contradiction 
to free music, because the harmonic development and chord progression 
are basically the same for every song. Free jazz or free improv are 
its exact opposite. And yet ... both genres share unique 
characteristics : improvisation, emotions and expressiveness. And 
pianist David Haney does exactly that : to turn the blues into a free 
format, using the non-formal characteristics as the essence of the 
music, assisted by two of today's best bass players : Michael Bisio 
and Adam Lane. And the overall result is impressive. The trio always 
has the 12-bar blues in mind, but the music evolves and moves to areas 
never explored in blues music before, into wild areas, of screeching 
arco basses and eery dissonant piano music, as in "Old Landmark" , yet 
always falling back onto the core material, or staying even relatively 
close to it, as in "Cardboard Watchdog" or "Blue Savannah", on which 
they stick to and improvise on the pentatonic blues scale. And some 
hold the absolute middle, like "Soul Of A Man", which starts with the 
saddest low and slow blues by the basses, then Haney takes over the 
traditional blues chords on piano, while the two basses start pooring 
their hearts out, in a slow outburst of agony and misery. Who would 
have guessed the blues contained all this fresh power? Adventurous, 
authentic and artistic - I like it!