An overly ambitious title that might cloud the true artistic beauty found within...
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
The State of Black America...last time I checked we were all Americans. That being said, The State of Black America might be one of those sneaky releases that flew under your radar. Shame...This is an old school trio with a more contemporary edge that elevates their game to a new level.
A plethora of styles are laid down with intensity and a meticulous touch that brings forth a harmonic clarity hard to find with most trios. While the evocative ballad "The Unknown Self" could arguably be the finest selection there is a lyrical ferocity that pushes this trio over and above the next level of improvisational music. While the roots are obviously in the tired and all too played out cards of race and politics, The Mark Lomax Trio move past the stereotypical and venture into a new real of improvisational discovery.
Tenor saxophonist Edwin Bayard makes a dramatic statement of lyrical consciousness while bassist Dean Hulett and drummer Mark Lomax tie up the rhythmic loose ends. Lomax is on record as unhappy with the acceptance of a black man in what he claims to be a predominately white artistic community. Well. #Bam did not work so I would recommend Lomax knock the chip off his shoulder and allow his music to speak for itself...The State of Black America is a musical statement that transcends politics and race. It swings.
4 Stars. An engaging trio with real promise.
Tracks: Stuck In A Rut; The Unknown Self; The Power of Knowing; To Know God Is To Know Thyself; Blues For Charles.