Bassist Greg Loughman Leads a New Trio with "Sinistral"

When journeyman bassist Greg Loughman decided to form his own trio and record a CD as a bandleader, it spawned a bit of an existential crisis. As a sideman, Loughman has garnered praise for his “deeply resonant soloing" (Paul Donnely, ejazz news), his “warm and woody tone" and “virtuosic playing in service to the fundamental groove" (David Horgan, Lively Times), as well as his “sparkling original compositions" (Don Zulaica, Alternate Music Press). He has performed in a wide variety of settings, playing Latin jazz at jazz festivals throughout the US and Caribbean with The Afro-Rican Ensemble, touring Japan and Europe with pianist Yoko Miwa and Montana based chamber jazz group Springhill, backing up jazz vocalists from Mark Murphy to Patti Page, playing original modern jazz with the Sonic Explorers, FunkHouse, and Iskar, in addition to playing traditional Balkan and other Folk music from around the world, etc., etc. So the question became, which of these influences would come to the fore now that he was in the driver's seat?

The answer turned out to be all of the above, and more. From his time studying and playing and studying Latin jazz Loughman composed “Alejo", a fractured, bitonal take on a traditional rumba guaguanco in which the bassline mimics the traditional conga part. Influenced by the asymmetrical rhythms of Balkan music were his songs “Big Five" and “Ricany", the former of which incorporates his love of the dark blues of Charles Mingus, whereas the latter is inspired by his love of simple, lyrical folk melodies. His work with pioneering jazz vocalist Mark Murphy, inspired Loughman to re-arrange two standard jazz tunes, “Darn That Dream" and “Take the A Train" in interesting and challenging ways. In addition, he has used this CD to further the harmonic explorations he began while living in Montana (far removed from any artificial outside influence), to which state Loughman pays tribute in his songs “MT" and “Northwest Passage". In addition, inspired by his interest in 20th Century serial composers comes the title track of the CD, Sinistral, which features hauntingly unsettled harmonies and melodic yet diffracted melodies based on 12-tone rows.

The end result is a product that ties all of these disparate entities into what renowned pianist Frank Carlberg calls: “A coherent whole; a cycle of sorts... the solos are strong and the moods are compelling. Great stuff." Or as celebrated saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi puts it “I love the sound of this group, it's modern, it's intimate, it's harmonically rich; it's got everything. It puts me in a place that I love being in." In addition to being available at the performance, CDs are available through CDBaby, as well as being available for download on Itunes and, as well as many other outlets.

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