This is the second Spider Trio cd, with Bryan Pardo on saxophone, Tim Keenan on drums, and Dan McNaughton, the group's leader, on bass. All the compositions are by Dan McNaughton. Spider Trio is based in Chicago and has been around since 1997. The group's first cd, Permission, documents the first version of the group, which Dan put together in New Orleans, and is for sale on cdbaby as well.
Here's what Time Out Chicago had to say in advance of our January 2008 show at the Velvet Lounge:
Smart and pithy avant-garde jazz comes from the local Spider Trio on last year's self-released Presences. Saxophonist Bryan Pardo maintains a pure tone and sweetly melodic approach while bassist Dan McNaughton and drummer Tim Keenan give voice to Afro-Cuban grooves usually left for the mainstreamers.
And from the All Music Guide:
The debut recording for the Spider Trio had them locked in a modified New Orleans style, but for this sophomore effort by these Chicagoans, they are sounding like their hometown predecessors, the creative trio from the A.A.C.M., Air. A muscular and toned improvisational center and challenging original compositions have set this small ensemble on fire. Tenor saxophonist Bryan Pardo has taken his influences to heart and leapt to another level. Drummer Tim Keenan has attained more flexibility, and bassist Dan McNaughton is dedicated to the precious combination of emphasizing interval combinations while keeping time at heart. The result is music that is witty, brawny and accessible. The near 12-minute kicker "Sparkle Guitar" is dedicated to contemporary African music icons like S.E. Rogie and Mbilia Bel, with Pardo's free dancing tenor akin to Archie Shepp boogies on top of an implied "St. Thomas" styled calypso suggestion. More implied than overt calypso is heard on the lighthearted "The See You Later Library," where Pardo adopts a stance further like the composer of "St Thomas," Sonny Rollins. "Stumble" is a good angular bopping blues where Pardo sounds decidedly individualistic, a loose, unhurried, spatial counterpoint informs "Three Questions," and a slow, dark, underground slink with Pardo and McNaughton in unison exemplifies the good collective listening powers the three display during "Right Round The Corner/Up Though The Cracks." The band returns to the Crescent City mode with a shuffle "Payne's Remedy," as infrequent complete stops lead to a more neo-bop approach. The group has not so much refined their playing as they are expanding the parameters, and are discovering what they are capable of. This can also be a revelation for the listener who pauses and closely listens to this CD, full of realized potential and equally present with additional new horizons to seek. ~ Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide