Hansford Rowe's "HR3"
by E. "Doc" Smith‚
Jan. 10‚ 2014
Lately, I've been enjoying a wide variety of guitar, bass and drum trios, and one of my favorites is virtuoso bassist Hansford Rowe's "HR3". This is a tasty trio based in Montreal, featuring two younger players, (guitarist Julien Sandiford and drummer Max Lazich), performing with skill beyond their years. With HR3, Rowe has unleashed a gentle, yet wonderfully wicked sound; 'Scooby Goes to School", and the energetic "Voix Aciennes" are among my personal favorites on their new, debut album.
HR3's website describes the group as "A wounded road warrior meets two young bucks. Together they confront the beast…."
"You can’t create without destroying – that doesn’t mean scorched earth is HR3’s method. They kill you softly. They take you under slowly giving you time to visit musical subtleties along the way that require a moment. Bassist Hansford Rowe has scorched with quite a variety of characters along the rocky road; guitarists for example - Allan Holdsworth, Biréli Lagrène, Mike Oldfield, David Fiuczynski, Mick Taylor, John Martyn, micro-tonal maestro Jon Catler, David Torn, Jordi Torrens; or drummers - Gary Husband, Pierre Moerlen (Gong).
It has all cleared a path to the fountains of creative youth that are two twenty year old sages named Max and Julien. It couldn’t be predicted but you know it is right. Just like their music. Critics have begun talking about Julien’s playing with reference to some major jazz icons but that’s what they do… Julien sounds like Julien. And Max is just Max. No need to compare him to his idols Colaiuta or Tony Williams…"
Journalist Frank Beacham had this to say, "Very rarely in this life does one get to see—up close and personal—an eruption of singular young talent that is both mesmerizing and thrilling. But last night, I had such a moment in a small New York City nightclub at the American musical debut of two 20-year-old Canadians—guitarist Julien Sandiford and drummer Max Lazich. Teamed with veteran American bass player, Hansford Rowe, this new trio is called HR3. What was barely contained on this small stage was a musical tour de force driven by three talented improvisational artists."
I couldn't agree more. Here's a clip of their tune "Barcelona", the from their debut album.
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