«thrīe thrēo drī» is, obviously, the third album of the free-improvising trio of Dutch Ab Baars, who plays here the tenor sax, clarinet and the Japanese bamboo flute shakuhachi, German double bass player Meinrad Kneer (who began playing with Baars as a duo, «Windfall», Evil Rabbit, 2010), and American, Germany-based drummer Bill Elgart (Kneer and Elgart also play together in a quartet with German sax player Jan Klare and American Guitarist Jeff Platz), who has been working together since 2010. The album was recorded at Berlinaudio in January 2021.
These experienced improvisers know inside out the fine art of the moment, and their established affinity and intimacy allows this democratic trio to explore distinct strategies of negotiation – raw, intense and powerful but also delicate and emotional, risk-taking but also compassionate. The trio moves organically and instantly between consensus and dissent, dissonance and echo and form and abstraction, as well as endless variations of timbre. The dynamics of this trio always sound inventive and urgent, and never surrender to a familiar form.
This trio is determined to reinvent itself with each piece of «thrīe thrēo drī». The intense dynamics of this trio opts for a tense and energetic conversation like on the opening «Verticality», with Baars playing the tenor sax; dives into a playful, rhythmic storm on the following «High Rider», with Baars playing the clarinet; meditate on a dark, lyrical theme on «Boulder Clay Movement No. 1»; investigates the timbral spectrum of the respective instruments on «The Duck Stays Between The Teeth», navigates in faraway and unpredictable, exotic sceneries in «Alternative Experimental Assembly X», with Baars playing the shakuhachi; relaxes on the rhythmic conversational of «A Day Like Any Other»; and, again, explores timbral nuances and clever negotiation of ideas on «All Other Forms Of Matter And Energy»; and even sketches a touching folk song on the last piece «Aerolith», with Baars again on the shakuhachi.
Ab Baars (ts, cl, shakuhachi), Meinrad Kneer (b), Bill Elgart (dr)