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Barry Altschul’s 3Dom Factor

Long Tall Sunshine

Review by Gary Hill

This is a strong instrumental fusion album. Since Barry Atschul plays the drums, you might expect that instrument to be dominant. Well, there are some percussion solos, but really this is a trio (Joe Fonda - bass -  and Jon Irabagon - saxophones and clarinet - complete the lineup)  and most of the music is arranged as such. If you dig fusion with a decent range and some great instrumental work, you should enjoy this.

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Track by Track Review
Long Tall Sunshine
The rhythm section brings this piece in. From there horn guides and creates the melody for a mid-tempo fusion romp. This thing works through a number of shifts and changes, covering some killer territory as it makes its way along the road. The cut drops into some mellow weirdness at the end.
The 3Dom Factor
Feeling in some ways like an extension of the opener, comes in pretty intense, driving and crazed. It's pure fusion that feels pretty freeform. I love the bass soloing, exploration in the rhythm section drop back movement mid-track. It comes back to a full arrangement later, but eventually drops back to just horn. That section gets really weird at times.
This piece is less crazed. At just four minutes, it's also the shortest track of the set. It's perhaps more pure jazz than it is fusion. It's an effective number, though, and has some intriguing moments. It does turn more crazed near the end.
Be Out S'Cool
Jumping in with pretty straightforward jazz concepts, this gets more creative and freeform as it continues. I dig the bass solo movement of the number a lot. It gets quite experimental and weird after that movement, with really strange textures and sounds being heard. There is something playful and fun-loving about the oddities.
Martin's Stew
The closer starts with a percussion solo. In fact, the drums are the only instrument for nearly the first three-and-a-half minutes of this piece. The other instruments join after that and we're taken into a high energy fusion groove. The jamming gets very intense before it all drops back to an unaccompanied bass solo after the half-way point of the nearly 14-minute epic. Drums eventually rejoin, and the number shifts back to another percussion solo. They come back out of that with an intense jam that seems to combine classical and fusion elements into something not far removed from Rock In Opposition. It keeps driving forward and exploring from there.
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