Paradoxical Frog – Union (2012)

Paradoxical Frog - Union (2012)

Paradoxical Frog are a New York based jazz trio, consisting of German saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, and Americans, pianist Kris Davis and drummer Tyshawn Sorey.

Straight away it is evident that this isn’t going to appeal to the casual jazz listener, it is pretty intense stuff. Opener, An Intermittent Procession and following track, First Strike, are a fairly good indication of the album as the whole, it’s fairly dynamic, running across many different moods, with the trio interplaying and improvising masterfully. While First Strike is a particularly dark brooding track, An Intermittent Procession highlights more of the dynamics of the group, as melodies are picked up, picked apart and discarded and the piano intermittently takes the helm and then takes more of a percussive role, with almost random abandon.

Third wave was a term coined in 1957 to describe the cross over between jazz and classical forms, and there is something about this album that make me see it as something of a crossover between free jazz and modern minimalist composition. I think it may be the extremely rhythmic nature of the piano throughout, which evokes Cage’s prepared piano works.

An interesting release that requires some deep listening to get the most out of, but worthwhile nonetheless.

Favourite tracks: Fear The Fairy Dust, Union

Spotify link: Paradoxical Frog – Union

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