Because reedist Aram Shelton
first made his name during his years in Chicago and continues to work in numerous ensembles featuring strong local players, that's the context in which he tends to get covered by the Reader
. But he moved to Oakland, California, in 2005 and he's been superactive in the Bay Area since then, so even we don't hear about those activities so much. Shelton has just released On and On
(Singlespeed Music) with the second iteration of his long-running group Ton Trio. The album was made by a new lineup featuring bassist Scott Brown and drummer Alex Vittum. I just got my copy of the album and I haven't had enough time to really immerse myself in the sounds, but on first blush it's another winner. Today's 12 O'Clock Track
is a superbuoyant, hard-swinging gem called "Orange Poppies," where the rhythm section provides agile, swift support for Shelton's tart alto saxophone, which hurtles over the grooves without a misstep. At times there's no missing the melodic brightness of Ornette Coleman, but Shelton has his own sound, flush with wild intervallic leaps, and flecked by sudden upper-register squeals and percussive honks. It's a remarkable performance. Check it out after the jump.