G.O.B. Trio | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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On Loose, their 2000 debut as the M.O.B. Trio, drummer Matt Wilson, tenor saxophonist Ohad Talmor, and bassist Bob Bowen played liberally with simple groove-oriented themes, drawing on a tenor-trio tradition pioneered by Sonny Rollins in the 50s. Without a chordal instrument sketching out progressions, the musicians had plenty of leeway to toy with structure and harmony, but they could have used a safety net. Talmor stumbled occasionally, too often quoting Charles Mingus and Ornette Coleman when his own ideas failed him, and Bowen sometimes seemed hesitant to pull away from his deep ostinato lines and go exploring. Despite its flaws, Loose was a nice example of what a trio can do on the fly, and the new Quite Live in Brooklyn (OmniTone) better captures the group's synchronous vibe. The compositions are still skeletal, but the members play with more confidence and range, frequently abandoning their comfort zone of looping grooves. The M.O.B. Trio works a bit like the Detroit Pistons: no superstars, but marvelous team play. Since cutting the new album, Wilson has been replaced by Gerald Cleaver--hence the trio's name change. See also Sunday. Sat 5/14, 9:30 PM, Velvet Lounge, 2128 1/2 S. Indiana, 312-791-9050, $10.

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