Here's a rather unique CD from New York based TriPod, a three-piece ensemble featuring Clint Bahr on vocals, bass, and bass pedals, Keith Gurland on clarinet, flute, sax, bass pedals, and vocals, and Steve Romano on drums. Yes, you read it right, no guitars or keyboards on this CD, but after hearing the full sonic assault that the trio produces, you won't miss these instruments at all.
TriPod plays in a style that can best be descibed as similar to Islands or Lizard era King Crimson, which was a combination of light jazz with lots of atmospheric prog, but TriPod comes across a bit heavier and complex. Bahr's lead vocals are very much like a young Greg Lake, and his bass playing very intricate, as evidenced by the two-part suite "Incident", which is one of the busier songs on the CD. Other tracks like "Trip the Light" and "Four Winds" are more atmospheric, and feature the melodic woodwinds of Gurland, showing a variety of sounds that would make Mel Collins proud. "Jerome's Spotlight" is a raging jazz-rocker, and has a humorous edge that reminded me a bit of Frank Zappa's later works, and features a rolling bass line, thunderous percussion from Romano, and squonking sax work. The band even throws in a dose of jazz-metal on "A Most Logical Position", with the sax and bass so heavy and plodding you'd swear there was a guitar player hiding in the shadows somewhere. The Michael Brecker inspired "Grey Whisper" allows the CD to end on a graceful note, with some poignant, yearning sax work, as this is the only tune that comes close to anything resembling traditional jazz.
This was a very unique listening experience, and I can recommend this CD highly. TriPod have come up with a different take on the progressive rock and jazz-fusion genre's, and it will be interesting to follow their growth from here.