The Joe Maneri Trio: Of Any Three


Of Any Three


The Joe Maneri Trio


The Trio Concerts (Leo LR 307/308)

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Joe Maneri (alto sax, piano, voice), Mat Maneri (violin, viola), Randy Peterson (drums).

Composed by Joe Maneri Trio


Recorded: Cambridge, MA, November 20, 1998


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

Anyone with an ear sophisticated enough to devise a 72-note equal tempered scale is bound to be a good listener. In the course of his study and teaching of microtonal music, saxophonist/clarinetist/pianist Joe Maneri invented such a scale (he calls it "the Virtual Pitch Continuum"). As this music demonstrates quite well, he is indeed a good listener. Maneri has one of the most distinctive styles in jazz-based improvised music. Although it's apparently based on his microtonal theory, it's not pedantic in the least. Rather, it involves a group of improvisers listening and relating very closely to one another, and entails a concern with small, detailed gestures and minute fluctuations of pitch.

Maneri begins on alto sax. It is arguably his best instrument, the one on which his subtle manipulations achieve their most affecting vocalic expression. He switches to piano a third of the way through, revealing a more percussive aspect of his ebbing and flowing phraseology (he also adds vocal interjections). His son Mat Maneri holds down the lower end on what is either a baritone violin or viola. Mat's supple lines shadow his father's—sometimes in opposition, other times in agreement. Drummer Randy Peterson is as assertive as he needs to be, but never exceeds his mandate. He locks in especially well with Mat. In duo episodes they seem of a single mind. Then again, the trio works together scarcely less well. They create with a spontaneous logic, a common purpose made manifest in sound.

Reviewer: Chris Kelsey

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