Tani Tabbal Trio | Now Then
Tao Forms Records
Tani Tabbal's resume reads like a Who's Who of free jazz, like something painted from a dream, a smooth stone found at the edge of a river—Griot Galaxy, Roscoe Mitchell, Sun Ra, David Murray, Geri Allen...To say that Tabbal, born in Chicago and nurtured in Detroit, plays drums is like saying Tyhimba Jess writes. Is it true? Certainly. Does it miss the mark? Entirely. I've seen both, on stage, in the moment. Structures are created only to be imploded. Forms are developed for the sake of destruction, birthing beauty in the blast. Words from Jess; sounds from Tabbal. Same destination; different roads. When I think of Tabbal, I think of freedom, of joy, the sheer will of creativity.
Time is a given for the Woodstock-based composer/percussionist. He screams time, even when drumming up clatter and chaos. On Now Then, the latest from his trio, he joins forces once more with bassist Michael Bisio and alto saxman Adam Siegel. Wow! Listening is an adventure. Drink deep. The storm of the title track gives way, during "Midway Open," to an arco/alto conversation between Bisio and Siegel, all breath and bow, nodding heads and furtive glances. Magic. Bisio's "Sun History Ra Mystery" shimmers over an ostinato thrum, Siegel floating in like a haint, lingering in shadows. The piece "r. henri," also from Bisio's strong pen, hums with the art spirit, urging contemplation. Be the adventure. This music, recorded on a single day in December 2019, is alive to all possibilities. Now then!