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MP3 Trio Aab - Wherever I Lay My Home That's My Hat

Award winning mix of contemporary jazz, celtic folk, drum n bass and bebop.

10 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Jazz Fusion, JAZZ: Free Jazz

Top 10 Jazz CDS of 2001 The Guardian
Top 100 Jazz CDs Ever - Mojo Magazine 2001
see more reviews below

Trio AAB are recognised in the UK as "one of the most interesting contemporary small groups" "(The Guardian). Their first album, Cold Fusion, was unexpectedly and delightfully picked as Jazz album of 1999 by BBC Radio 3''s Jazz on 3. Since, they have been steadily building their reputation as ''the most complete mix of invention and originality'' (The Times) during live performances around the UK. These include a festival stealing turn at the Bath Festival last year, and an acclaimed collaboration with free-jazz legend Oliver Lake at the Edinburgh International Jazz Festival this summer.
Trio AAB''s music celebrates the art of improvisation. Arguably, improvisation has always been Jazz''s first unique selling point, (with ''swing'' as the second). For some, improvisation has become a display of power and mastery over an instrument, or over musical genres from the jazz tradition. Harmonic sequences become athletic tracks or golf courses round which an elite can display their prowess.

Trio AAB believe improvisation can be a less insecure art form than this; contemporary, human and personal- more akin to the way children play, the way people talk, tell their stories and interpret their reality (both around them and inside them) at any given moment in time. Trio AAB''s bass-free format creates a sense of space and light in which the three musicians stretch out to such an extent that the lack of bass is invisible and forgotten. Like the Bill Evans Trio with Scott La Faro, their commitment to collective improvisation shifts the focus of the listener away from the soloist, to the awareness of the group moving and creating music together.

These three musicians are powerful and developed solo voices. This album is bubbling over with totally ''on the money'' improvisation, saturated with swing and groove and bejeweled with the sound of musicians having fun throwing ideas about without fear: just letting the ideas flow. Their deep awareness of, and involvement with, structure and form is clear in the music but also reflected in the group''s name. In musical notation, AAB represents two things the same followed by something different- mirroring the group''s line up of two identical twins, Phil and Tom Bancroft, and a Kevin MacKenzie. More importantly, their involvement with structure is proved in the uncanny way in which the trio work together to produce music with real drama, pace, tension, sudden twists and turns, and releases- just as if it were composed in advance.

Of the compositions on this album only two (''It Could Have Been'' and ''Flowers for Jim'') have a conventional fixed harmonic sequence or circuit, round which the musicians do their improvising laps. The rest of the songs are more linear experiences, where the band usually play a composition and then head off on a story-telling journey with nothing planned in advance, carried along by a deep sense of groove. The second track, ''Jam'', is the first thing that happened in the studio, when the musicians simply picked up their instruments and played.

Like Cold Fusion, a host of influences are discernible here; Ornette Coleman, echoes of the guitar sound of Jeff Buckley, a continuing taste of drum ''n'' bass and dance music, a sprinkle of punk and rock, shades of be-bop and jazz, the interplay of Scofield and De Johnette for example, or Lovano and Motian. Many other styles are echoed in the obsession with repetition and rhythmic interplay that abound. It remains, as with their first album, a fearless forward-looking statement on the reality of what this music can be at this point in its development.

Caber 021 - ''Wherever I Lay My Home That''s My Hat''
Yorkshire Post: December 2001
Trio AAB : Wherever I Lay My Hat That''s My Home Caber 021
"Intriguing title for an album and some intriguing jazz too. If it''s eclecticism and invention you''re after, this is the group for you. The trio is twin brothers Phil and Tom Bancroft, on saxophones and guitar (sic), and drummer Kevin MacKenzie. Their music embraces straight ahead jazz, funk, and rock amongst its many influences, and is characterised by constant rhythmic interplay."

"That makes for a wide ranging programme that refuses to be categorised but holds interest because of it''s sheer invention. The opening Happy Repetition song is wonderfully open and springy, Some of the Things I''m Not is a marvel of three players finding perfect intuitive understanding."

"There are some fine young British groups around at present and Trio AAB are up there with the best of them". Andrew Vine, Yorkshire Post
Trio AAB : Wherever I Lay My Hat That''s My Home Caber 021 ****
"If this is the best Scottish modern jazz has to offer, then let''s have lots more please. Trio AAB comprises Phil Bancroft ( saxophones), Tom Bancroft (drums) and Kevin MacKenzie (guitar). The album''s title, the opening track and it''s inspiration - Happy Repetition: "This was written while I was failing to give up smoking..." hints at the often playful nature of the music. While the opener reflects the rippling rhythms of Jimmy Giuffre''s ''The Train and The River'', the trio also delve into into darker waters, but the themes never fail to to resolve and the ideas never stagnate. Great stuff." David Banks

CD Review in JAZZ RAG Issue 70
TRIO AAB Wherever I Lay My Home That''s My Hat Caber 021 (61:44)
"If you haven''t already spotted it, there is something exciting happening in Scotland. Largely as a result of Caber Music, bands such as John RaeĆ­s Celtic Feet and the Brian Kellock Trio are creating a buzz about Scottish jazz. Trio AAB are central to that, easily carrying the burden of being labelled "the most creative group in Scotland". Their debut album "Cold Fusion" was one of the best of 1999, and this is a worthy successor.

The trio consists of identical twins Tom and Phil Bancroft (drums and saxophones, respectively. Tom is the founder of Caber Music. Phil wrote most of the material here.) and Kevin MacKenzie on guitar. The three sound comfortable with each other, having played together in various ensembles in recent years. Their music has a refreshing openness and sense of space. There is not much soloing here, but plenty of simultaneous improvisation by all three players. Compositions are used as starting points for creative explorations, but this never sounds like free improvisation; the trio retain an underlying sense of swing and melody throughout. And, maybe most importantly, they have a sense of humour and fun that shines through. They name-check musicians as diverse as Ornette Coleman, Jeff Buckley, Paul Motian and Bill Evans, but none gives much clue to the freshness and joy of the music here. This album will be on my end-of-year list of favourites (even though AAB offer no word of apology to Marvin Gaye for the album title)."

Inverness Courier Trio AAB : December 2001
Wherever I Lay My Hat That''s My Home Caber 021
"They may take their music seriously but this explosive and innovative Scottish group know how to have fun too, as those who heard them recently in Inverness will be aware. Guitarist Kevin MacKenzie - who fulfils the band''s piano and bass role in the band - registers more strongly in the recording balance than he did "live", drummer Tom Bancroft is a powerhouse of polyrhythms, and although twin brother Phil''s equally muscular tenor sounds wooly on the opening ''Happy Repetition Song'', a title which sums the tune up pretty well, the sax gains clarity as the recording progresses.
Owing much to Kern & Hammerstein, "Some of the things I''m Not" is as close as the trio come to a standard in this collection of funk, free-ish originals and atmospheric ballads."

John Bungey, The Times December 2001
" There are some grooves too, and a good deal else, in the subtle and free-flowing music of the Scottish Trio AAB. Their first album was a Radio 3 Jazz album of the year and Wherever I Lay My Hat That''s My Home ( Caber 021, distributed by Proper) is a sparky follow up. The trio of sax, guitar and drums move through noisy funk to be-bop and moments of quiet lyricism. What''s most remarkable is their ability to create beautifully judged collective improvisations. Absence of a bass player works to their free-wheeling advantage. Mind you , one of the titles may hint at the occasional frustrations of life at jazz''s cutting edge ''Pay Some F***ing Attention''"

Express Star ( West Midlands Evening Paper)
Wherever I Lay My Home That''s My Hat Trio AAB
" A quirky title and a witty approach to music. Twins Phil and Tom Bancroft, on saxes and drums respectively, and guitarist Kevin MacKenzie offer original themes with unexpected twists."

Trio AAB Album Review in Jazz Review Magazine: Dec2001
"This one grows on you rather than demanding and holding your attention at once, which is fine. I''ve always been a fan of instrumental groupings which have, in conventional terms, one or more empty seats , such as piano-free horn/bass/drums trios, or has here, a trio with a chordal instrument but no bassist ( and no one doing a Ganelin or a Stu Martin by faking a bass line with gadgetry, either). While a quick flick through your free improvisation shelf will of course reveal any number of recordings which would seem to qualify, it''s a different kind of fun when the musicians are working within more-jazz-than-not structures. Here the trio makes a series of hit-and-run sorties into the resulting space, of which the most telling has to be the lovely , melodic dadoomphs of Bancroft-the-Drums'' kick pedal on the cod-systemic opening track. He''s a busy but perfectly controlled player, which is just as well given that his contribution to this disc often amounts to structural framework, background wash and rhythmic punctuation, often all at once.....just when the listener starts to fidget something like the rampaging "Pay Some F**king Attention comes up endearing you to the music all over again.

A strong versatile set from a trio with a penchant for the slightly oblique, then, and highly commendable as such." Roger Thomas

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