Aaron Goldberg (p), Omer Avital (b), Marc Miralta (d, cajón, tablas)
Bar code: 8427328421362
The OAM Trio is an exciting collaborative ensemble featuring Israeli bass phenomenon Omer Avital, the young pianist Aaron Goldberg (formerly with Joshua Redman) and master drummer and multi-percussionist Marc Miralta. Three musicians who met on the New York scene but with roots that span the globe, the OAM Trio blends fiery swing with diverse musical influences from the Arabic, Pan-Latin and Flamenco traditions.
Each is a bandleader and expert sidemen in his own right, and yet as kindred spirits they form a brilliant whole. In the words of The Boston Globe their music "displays keen collective instincts, and thanks to the uncanny ESP of the players a unique character...Few groups successfully pack as much detail into a performance as OAM Trio."
"I want to say right off the bat that totally enjoyed this disc. OAM comes from the first letters of the players' first names with the last name in alphabetical order. But it is Avital, I would say, who is the nominal leader, or at least sharing those duties with Miralta. Avital is an extroverted and propulsive bass player with a recognizable style that combines rhythm / harmonic support with melodic lines, even when he is not soloing. His solos are very strong and he plucks very hard, producing a unique sound which keeps things moving along.
He and Miralta are locked in tight, with Miralta's drumming doing much more than providing a beat. He is fleet and light, all over the drum set, plus switching off to the two percussion instruments without missing a thing. You will need a good stereo or headphones to really hear all that is going on at the bottom, because may times Avital seems to want to fit in with the bass drum. They make a tremendous rhythm section. Now, this may sound like Goldberg is along for the ride, and to some extent he is, as alluded to in the last line of the inner blurb: "Now and then you can hear us laugh at our triumphs and stumbles amidst the stream. This day's work captures an evolving musical romp, three-drummers-in-one and a bunch of bad-ass solos..." Regardless, he fits in very well when doing most of the soloing, but also when comping and picking up motives that Avital lets loose.
Flow, besides being the title of the CD and the name of one of its tunes, is the operative word from the first moment of music. The trio is a unit, and has a distinctive sound as a trio. They are mindful of the Ahmad Jamal Trio, not because they sound like that, but because they sound extremely extemporaneous in that dynamics, tempos, and textures change constantly, seemingly turning on a dime. The OAM Trio also plays in unison (rhythmically) many times, which is thrilling when it comes out of nowhere. The laughter referred to in the blurb above occurs many times throughout the disc, and, while I cannot say for sure, seems to come from either from Avital or Miralta when everything just falls into place for the moment, is locked in, and swings (to use the term loosely) the hardest. This is when the flow (or the zero point, as Greg Osby calls it) need not be pushed, but just pulls everyone along.
A measure of OAM's success for me is that, while there is not a weak cut on the disc, my favorite cuts are "The Shadow Of Your Smile" and "Puff, The Magic Dragon," neither of which are on my short list of Jazz hits. What might have been droll or boring is instead exciting, because these tunes are taken for a ride, refracted, hinted at during the trip and then put back together so that you know you have been somewhere. Close behind are "Flow" by Avital and "MAO's Blues." "Flow" is a rhythmic tour de force that just kicks from beginning to end and shows the interplay between Avital and Miralta at thier tightest, besides having some very coy "Puff"quotes. "MAO's Blues" starts off sounding anything but a Blues, but then settlles in for some hot cooking and what may be Goldberg's most extroverted playing. Miralta takes some marvelous drum breaks in stop time, until they all lock into a groove on a repeated cadential figure (and a loud 'Wow', along with a quote from "Moanin'." Most of the tunes follow an ABA form, which, with its return and recapitualtion, only emphasizes the trip that has been taken. Highly recommended."
- Budd Kopman, Cadence Magazine
Aaron Goldberg, el pianista de la sesión y del cuarteto de Joshua Redman, forma sí mismo parte del OAM Trio, un grupo que dejó muy buen recuerdo con su primer disco para Fresh Sound. Hace doblete con el Segundo con otro álbum en el que todo canta y en el que el entendimiento del grupo resulta superior. Sin que haya líderes lo cierto es que el bajo extrovertido y de poderosa melodía de Avital sirve de guía y puede decirse que es la espina dorsal del trio para que Goldberg elabore los temas y Miralta apunte cimbreantes ritmos. Sus lecturas de Equinox de Coltrane y Con Alma de Dizzy el tono anhelante de Shimis Tune (que preciosa línea), el calor que transmite Flow, pieza elaborada sobre Giant Steps, y el emotivo apunte de Sad and Bright, forman un conjunto irresistible.
- Ángel Gómez Aparicio, Más Jazz (España Invierno 2002)