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Tongue in Groove [Digipak]
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Joey Baron (drums); Joey Baron; Ellery Eskelin (tenor saxophone); Steve Swell (trombone).
  • Recording information: Sorcerer SOund, New York, NY (05/01/1991).
  • Unknown Contributor Role: Steve Byram.
  • Arrangers: Joey Baron; Johnny Mandel.
  • TONGUE IN GROOVE is a very intriguing trio date that has drummer/leader Joey Baron working with tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin and trombonist Steve Swell. An all-live, all-acoustic recording (the album features no overdubs or edits), TONGUE IN GROOVE is a spirited outing with an unusual sound (the lack of bass, guitar, or piano makes the music seem interestingly lopsided). Eskelin and Swell's punchy brass work against Baron's busy trap work, maintaining a remarkably full ensemble feel throughout.
  • The set is comprised entirely of Baron's originals. While these are often based on traditional head-solo-head jazz structures, the melodies are quite fresh, and Eskelin and Swell display a push-pull telepathy that finds them supporting and leading each other at once. Baron throws out tribal tom beats ("Terra Bina Kia Jeena"), angular funk ("Guzzle"), and spastic/subtle avant brushwork ("Truck"). Baron's titles alone ("Yow," "But, Cake") indicate the playful, exploratory nature of the music. Fine playing and the unique nature of the instrumentation make this set worthwhile.
Professional Reviews
Musician (11/93, p.91) - "...[Baron's] backbeat-heavy rhumbas, cha-chas and strip-tease beats all come off gleefully impudent and dazzingly attentive, providing a cogent stance for free improv inclinations...."
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