By Doug Simpson
Published on October 8, 2015
The essential approach to drummer Barry Altschul´s new release on the TUM label is freedom. The hour-long Tales of the Unforeseen is the sophomore studio album for his current group, Barry Altschul´s 3dom Factor. Altschul states in the liner notes that, "Nothing was planned: no charts, no specific concepts - just play." That kind of framework can only be successful if the performers are finely and precisely attuned to each other, and that´s exactly what happens. Altschul should be known to improvisational jazz devotees. In the early 1970s, Altschul was a member of Circle, a band which also included Chick Corea, Dave Holland, and Anthony Braxton, and historically is regarded by some as one of the most technically-adept free jazz ensembles. When Circle dissolved, Altschul divided his time between solo works and collaborations with Kenny Drew, Billy Bang and others. The other 3dom Factor participants have equally corresponding paths. Bassist Joe Fonda was Braxton´s go-to bassist in the ‘90s, he supported trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, and Fonda has issued several wide-ranging music CDs. Fonda and Altschul have been part of the FAB Trio for 15 years. Saxophonist Jon Irabagon is a partner in the unconventional jazz assemblage, Mostly Other People Do the Killing; and also involved in the Dave Douglas Quartet. Irabagon and Altschul have performed together over a six year period. To say the least, these are three musicians who have established a telepathic communication.