Listening - Wednesday, Dec 29 2021


A close-up shot of a woman’s ear with a golden earring in a triangle shape, which is the cover of the album.

If I’d heard this album in college when I was just figuring out what I wanted to try to do with the He Can Jog project, I would have pointed with an emphatic yes to the brilliant plurality of form, style, mood, harmony… everything in The Magic Triangle.

I guess you could say that’s a quality present in lots of (good) free jazz… but The Magic Triangle moves effortlessly from moments of gorgeous ambience and harmonicity to dense formalistic moments of rich dissonance in a single breath… then at one point launching into a full-on traditional blues with fantastic vocals from Don Pullen. (Who sounds like he ages about 40 years during the transition from his whispered chants in Lonely Child to the growling of J.F.M. - 3 Way Blues)

The blues isn’t just the blues though it’s as good a straight-ahead blues song as I’ve heard – Jarman and Pullen will be holding down the core while Moye starts to wander evocatively into a totally different space against the ostinato of the piano and voice.

This kind of respectful re-framing and marriage of different approaches weaved together into a single narrative makes my heart sing.