Since the days of Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the guitar/bass/drums trio has been a springboard for innovation and experimentation. In the hands of visionary tone scientists, this venerable lineup continues to be a laboratory for music of primal power and tonal subtlety.
ON COMMON GROUND features three such players, all of whom have individually created highly personal sonic universes. Mike Sopko has explored the frontiers of the guitar with Bill Laswell, Dosh, Dave King, Los Lobos, DJ Logic, and Tyshawn Sorey from bases in Oakland, California and his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, including 2015's Sopko/Laswell/Pridgen with drummer Thomas Pridgen of The Mars Volta. Like Laswell, a fellow Midwesterner, Sopko transmutes the industrial crash and hum of his hometown into music of muscular authority. Over the last several years, no one who has followed the protean career of Tyshawn Sorey should be surprised by
anything he does as a composer, instrumentalist and conceptualist. Still, the oceans of primal rhythm he conjures in the five compositions of ON COMMON GROUND open a startling new vista of his art.
Together, the sounds brought into being by these three improvisors are at once grounded in a deep inquiry of traditions that span space and time while cracking open a window onto eternal radiance.
This is fearless music, the kind that can only be made when master musicians meet ON COMMON GROUND.
released October 2, 2020
Mike Sopko: guitar
Bill Laswell: bass
Tyshawn Sorey: drums
Recorded at Orange Music, West Orange, NJ
Engineering: James Dellatacoma
Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper at TurtleTone Studio, NY
Artist photos: Nathan West
Artwork: Yoko Yamabe @ Randesign