Glass Tongue Trio are based out of Orlando, Florida and feature Leo Suarez on drums, Chris Moore on alto sax, and Dan Reaves on electronics.
With their self-titled release they deliver an interesting, atmospheric, spacious, and at times, cacophonous improvisational set of free jazz. Even though the nature of the music they are playing often lends itself to tension or aggression, GTT manage to keep things sounding more playful than dangerous.
The audio quality of the recording stands out as sounding quite good. The drums have a very natural, full and organic tone, and the sax seems to sit warmly in the mix without ever becoming too harsh. Reaves’ minimal electronic textures add spice and flavoring over top, almost guiding the minimalist approach to the music.
Reaves told me their influences are rooted in the John Zorn, Tzadik, scene, but I would almost compare what they are doing more with the more minimal works of Sun Ra, or even some of the more experimental music Archie Shepp has made at times.
The high-point of the LP comes midway through track 3, where the sax and electronics mesh together in a textured and chaotic arpeggio. Below, there’s an earthquake of drums rolling the way sand moves under an ocean wave breaking on the beach. After the climax, the sound calms again to meditative drones then gradually works it’s way back to bursts or sound and eventually to moments of groves and steadiness.
Overall I give Glass Tongue Trio’s freshman release 4 out of 5 stars. If you are a fan of free jazz, improvisational music, or weirdness in general, I think you should enjoy this release. It’s nice how they managed to create a work like this that doesn’t sound anxiety driven, but more curious and contemplative. The only thing keeping this from being 5 out of 5 stars to me, is at times it seems to lose it’s flow, or maybe the connection seems to break at moments between musicians. This could have been remedied by maybe adding a few short non-improvised parts to “regroup” on, or possibly some more careful editing.
Still very worth the purchase if you are a fan of the genre.