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The Friday Morning Listen: The Trio of Doom

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One of the consistent pleasures I get out of music is that the frequently-encountered points of beauty provide a tremendous buffer against the ugliness that can turn any day a darker color. I don't mean to imply by the latter half of that sentiment that the world is an ugly place. Far from it. Even the most optimistic person might have admit though, that mankind can occasionally (in truth, regularly) screw things up so bad that it can make a person lose faith.

Music is surely not the only form of entertainment-as-escapism, but it's the one that works for me over all others.

It's not relevant whether a moment of aural singularity is premeditated or spontaneous. What comes to the top is the story being told — and that story might contain both musical and historical components. By way of example, take a listen to the Trio of Doom. Named by the late Jaco Pastorius, the trio was a one-time collaboration hatched at a concert held in Cuba in 1979. Organized by the U.S. State Department, the event became known as "The Bay of Gigs."

I'm not here for a full review of that event (Pico's summation will do nicely for that). What's important here is the stunning chemistry and power in the music created by McLaughlin, Pastorius, and Williams. Even with Jaco straying a bit from the harmonic structure early on, it's clear that this supergroup had something to say. From Williams' opening and very melodic drum solo to the harmonically rich "Continuum" to the blistering "Are You The One, Are You The One?", it's like the musicians are riding the force of a creative volcanic flow.

On any given day, that flow functions as antidote to the personal problems, world events, and political sleaze that we all have to deal with.

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About Mark Saleski

  • Once again you put in just a short paragraph what takes me an entire article to say. Damn!

    Great way to put it all into context. Music like this make a great antidote to everyday dispair.