Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Griffith Hiltz Trio This Is What You Get 2013

Griffith Hiltz Trio: This Is What You Get...

Perhaps the most innovative improvisational act to come out of Canada...ever!
Brent Black / www.bop-n-jazz.com

It may be tacky to rip on your contemporaries but...after reading the dry as dust blow by blow posted on All About Jazz I really didn't expect much from this eclectic trio from our friends to the north...sometimes being wrong works for me.

The sophomore release from the Griffith Hiltz Trio is aptly titled  This Is What You Get and...it is. Genre lines are blurred as a melodic sense of urgency runs the spectrum from surf influenced sounds to that of what some might refer to as "metal-lite." What you get is an amalgam of influences that will have most critics scratching their collective heads and most label executives and publicists perched on the nearest ledge which at times is not necessarily a bad thing.

Johnny Griffith handles alto / tenor saxophone and bass clarinet for a delicious organic sound that in this particular format actually means something. Nathan Hiltz is a rock steady guitarist bringing a nice bottom end of texture with the bass pedals while Sly Juhas keeps everyone on the straight and narrow with a delightful swing that seems to tie up all the loose ends nicely.

Creativity here is off the charts, no one sound predominates while maintaining an incredibly engaging ebb and flow throughout the release. Having often said labels are for cans of soup this formidable trio hammers the point home while walking an organic harmonic tightrope on an incredibly windy day.

Solid compositions that are well thought out and developed seal the deal and avoid the sophomore slump that so often hammers ensembles such as this. This is post modern improvisational music for a thoroughly modern world. Nothing to grind on here.

Tracks: Strawman; The Kuleshascope; For Otis; MGM; Steppin' Out; Bone Arm; Port Hillford Railway; This Is What You Get; The Rainbow Connection (Yes...THAT one); Movie Theme II - Condor and Squid.

Personnel: Johnny Griffith: Alto / Tenor Sax, Bass Clarinet; Nathan Hiltz: Electric Guitar & Bass Pedals; Sly Juhas: Drums.