BOB GLUCK TRIO - Sideways (FMR)
by Jeff Waggoner
Anyone who knows anything about Bob Gluck knows hes in for a delight when he plops the CD Sideways into the player. It surprises and engages throughout.
Gluck, a professor at SUNY Albany, is a polymath, and it shows. Not only does he, as the CD cover modestly states, perform on piano and electronics, but he and his trio move the musics rhythms, melodies and timbres through history. Its a contemporary sound that provides timeless beauty.
No small part of the success of this CD belongs to Glucks fellow artists in his Albany-based trio: Bassist Michael Bisio and percussionist Dean Sharp.
Bisios improvisational boldness and brilliance stands him in good stead in any context. And dont expect the standard thumps and crashes from Sharps drumming. If you do, you miss much music.
Nine songs on the CD; Mostly originals by Gluck and Bisio. Gluck, never afraid of the familiar, also provides songs by jazz giants Joe Zawinul and Ornette Coleman. But the compositions of the local heroes are never overshadowed. Indeed, Bisios song, History of a Mystery: H. Floresiensis is a disturbing, romantic masterpiece.
Its a hallmark of the album: Gluck never uses a sound in isolation each tone is part of the picture, providing context and comprehension.
Sideways wont come out of my player for a while.
Jeff Waggoner has written book, CD and concert reviews for publications such as Metroland, Jazz Times, Blues Access and The New York Times. He lives in Nassau, is a student of jazz saxophone and guitar and can be frequently found at jazz, blues and folk concerts.