«Time being what it is, there are several ways to approach Time Being, the latest and, I think, best of the Trio 3 albums – among them, its miscellaneous approaches to time, ranging from meterless meditation to swing to stately waltzing; and the collective experience of the group’s membership, a figure exceeding 130 years, for the time being. This cumulative experience involves the assimilation of every kind of jazz, from pre-bop mainstream to the furthest reaches of the avant-garde to sundry precincts on the world music front.
To me, this is the most successful Trio 3 album because it supersedes its predecessors in achieving genuine tripartite equality. Time Being is true trio music: Hardly a moment passes when the listener isn’t aware of the musicians listening to each other.
Reggie Workman, born in Philadelphia in 1937, has always been regarded as a bass player’s bass player. After proving himself in the house band in a hometown club, he moved east with Gigi Gryce’s group, Blakey, Miles, Monk, Lateef, Shepp, McLean, Roach, Murray, and on and on – he’s worked with everyone. I remember the first time I heard him (side one of John Coltrane, Live at the Village Vanguard) and the first time he stopped me in my tracks: the alto saxophone and bass duet on “Lost in the Stars,” from Gary Bartz’s Another Earth – I shouted, “Who is that?” One of his longest-running asso-ciations has been with Andrew Cyrille, a rare New York musician who was actually born in New York, in 1939.
Andrew Cyrille studied at Juilliard and Hartnett (where he met Cecil Taylor and briefly played with him in 1958), then apprenticed with the full panoply of jazz musicians, from abiding legends (Hawkins, Mary Lou Williams) to daring newcomers, including Bill Barron and Roland Kirk. In 1964, he began an historic 11-year association with Taylor, es-tablishing himself as one of the most instinctively musical and inventive drummers of the era. I had the pleasure of producing a few Taylor events as an undergraduate in 1968, and a highlight was Andrew’s solo workshop, tracing the history of jazz percussion – a presentation he expanded in his remarkable video, Jazz Methodology in Drum Music (In & Out of Meter). In 1975, he organized Maono, one of the great ensembles of its time.
Oliver Lake, born in Marianna, Arkansas, in 1942, grew up in St. Louis, where he taught public school and played rhythm and blues before becoming a member of Black Artists Group. In the early ‘70s, he came to New York with a self-produced album on his own, still active label, Passin’ Thru. Along with Julius Hemphill (with whom he recorded the memorable Buster Bee), Anthony Braxton, and Arthur Blythe, he breathed a new life into the alto saxophone, and immediately became a central figure in the Loft Era, joining with Hemphill, David Murray, and Hamiett Bluiett to form the World Saxophone Quar-tet. He created the theatrical piece The Life Dance of Is, led simultaneous bands that ex-plored the legacies of Eric Dolphy and reggae (Jump Up), and worked as a prolific side-man, as on Reggie’s Trio Transition, in 1988, leading to Trio 3.»
released January 1, 2006
Oliver Lake: Alto Sax, Sopranino
Reggie Workman: Bass
Andrew Cyrille: Drums