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

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Beep Beep - Business Casual – While the advent of punk rock in the mid and late 70s may have been a death blow of sorts to big arena rock, including much of what we call Progressive, that genre known as Art Rock found a natural...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues