Allan Browne Trio

Lost In The StarsAllan Browne Trio Lost In The Stars res

(Jazzhead)

It’s hard to beat good direct-to-stereo sound. The Allan Browne Trio recorded this all in the one room with not a baffle or headphone in sight. Sonically it has an immediacy that erupts from the speakers as though Browne (drums), Marc Hannaford (piano) and new member Sam Pankhurst (bass) have just set up in your living room. The sounds are rich and real, and share a shifting foreground rather than being layered in the mixing. This immediacy extends to the performances, the interaction being intense and as finely detailed as a Durer woodcut.

They have taken pieces from the very disparate Zodiac suites of Mary Lou Williams and Karlheinz Stockhausen, and paired them, so a rendition of Williams’ Taurus is followed by one of Stockhausen’s Taurus, and so on through six of the zodiac signs.

The idea is not as arbitrary as it might seem, both composers having crafted their suites from simple melodies that share a certain guilelessness. While Stockhausen may not have imagined his pieces played this jazzily on piano, bass and drums, he did envision them becoming improvising vehicles. His <Cancer> works brilliantly, beginning with a short bass/drums dialogue before Hannaford drops the melody’s pearl-like notes into the thrum, and the little piece steadily intensifies without becoming either busier or louder.

They play at the Sound Lounge, July 13.