Exposé Online banner

Jackhammer Trio — Sonarchy and Synergy
(HipSync HSG 99-026, 2000, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2003-08-01

Sonarchy and Synergy Cover art

Seattle’s answer to the NY Downtown jazz scene is part fusion and jamming entourage, but also a tight trio too. Rik Wright is the guitarist in these ten work-outs, and his style reminds me of Devotion era John McLaughlin. The group is steeped in many influences ranging from the early Tony Williams Lifetime (“7th & Pike”) to James Blood Ulmer but a bit more funky (as on “Concrete Spider Surfing”). Wright is the prime soloist on all tracks and gets free range to present his flanged tone in a positive light without many confines. The rhythm section of bassist Tannar Brewer and drummer Simon Grant navigates a wide sound map from stomping grooves (“Perimeter Man”) to outright driving rave-ups as on “Clean up Your Room.” Thelonius Monk’s piece, “Well You Needn’t” gets a bass heavy arrangement spliced with cross-cut drumming and wah-wah electric guitar. Their deconstruction of Henry Mancini’s “Pink Panther Theme” is blistering reading on a well-known theme and hardly recognizable until the last minute of the track. Probably the best execution on the disc occurs on the album’s closer “Monkey Funk,” which could be described as a frantic race down a slippery highway, sirens wailing behind. Overall the trio is in the same genre as city mates Stinkhorn, but less free and more prone to outright blues jams. Highly recommended to fans of Massacre and 70s guitar driven fusion.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 27, 2000 releases

Related artist(s): Rik Wright, Jackhammer Trio

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Lolli Zan - Ancient Girl – Well, you never know what might show up in your mailbox when you write for this magazine. This one was a pleasant surprise. It's fairly ambitious independent rock with a flavor of India, and maybe...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues