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Dark and pensive

3ology - With Ron Miles
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: June 24, 2010

Review by Brad Walseth

Jazz funk jams are the forte of Colorado-based 3-ology, and they are damn good at it - with drummer Jon Powers and powerful acoustic bassist Tim Carmichael laying down the rhythms. Meanwhile brother Doug Carmichael (saxophone) is joined by rising star cornet player Ron MIles, which pushed this new recording - their third - into yet another level. After a brief punningly-titled solo cornet opening ("All Miles") the band slinks into a simmering modal Miles (Davis circa 1971) groove on "Gonna Leave a Mark" - the front line horns thrust and parry - before eventually boiling over. "Back in Hotchitakee" starts off with some gnarly bass riffs before Powers kicks in. The horns soon join in with some enthusiastic counterpoint on this ten-minute ultra funky number.

Another long number - the 10:27 "Nightmares of my Youth" follows, with Powers leading things off with ominous tom toms, and Tim Carmichael adding scratchy bowing on his bass. An African-flavored groove kicks in around seven-minutes into the song, and Doug Carmichael floats through on sax, before Ron Miles comes on the scene around eight-minutes in, and then the songs ends with chiming bass. Tim switches to electric bass on "The Neo-Cerebral Peace Iguana" and the moody funk continues. "For Don" is Ron Miles soloing over a percussion bed, while "Aw Dude" has Tim Carmichael funking it up on electric bass and the whole crew along for the ride. "Jimmyin' the Bakin' Shack" is soulful 6/8 number that showcases Miles, while "Zero Miles" ends things satisfactorily with more of the dark and pensive moods this trio does best.

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