Positioned in the crux of classic modernism and eclectic-bop expressionism, jazz trio White Rocket make compositions that speak volumes about how the language of music can be wheedled into inspiring vignettes that teeter between having ornery spurs and a graceful demeanor. The trio’s self-titled debut album is constructed from their instruments interweaving and tangling into each other creating segments of discord and intervals of lofty flourishes. The rhythmic swells of pianist Greg Felton and drummer Sean Carpio have a jocular-tilt with groves of billowing trumpet flecks plotted by bandleader Jacob Wick. Liken to Jazz Groove’s recording artists The Vampires, the lyrical phrases of the instruments move in a state of continual flux, bumping into each other and tumbling over one another like a gaggle of frolicking puppies at times or like torn souls finding their way in the dark.
The instruments sketch slippery streaks and fiery spears in the chord changes making mutable patterns through the opening track "Mutatis Mutandis." The following track "His Story" is heightened by a dusting of energetic piano keys and dinghies of puffing trumpet notes that flutter and flail over the lively snare drums. The trio softens up on the dark and moody slopes of "Recent Events" pausing here and there and picking up tangential angles. The composition turn obscure and hazy, contrasting the pointy riffs and rapid movements of "Hone" and the mournful coloring of "Lonely Toad." Springy piano keys sleigh over melodic knolls with a festive spree along "Susan Styra" and wane down to a coasting sail through "Symptoms." The rules of a jamband seem to apply here, where one instrument goes, the others follow and no track exemplifies this more than "Sung Once." The trio closes their self-titled album with softly brushed strokes dissolving into solemn clovers strewn across "The Fisherman’s Song" choreographed from drifting trumpet wails and bourbon hued piano locks.
White Rocket’s self-titled album opens up new ideas for contemporary jazz models. The trio appropriates classic jazz idioms when the feeling strikes them, merging with their inventive maneuvers. White Rocket began with New York-based trumpeter Jacob Wick who recruited Dubliners Greg Felton and Sean Carpio for the project in 2005. All three of their personalities can be heard in the compositions, and their chemistry is inspiring. The compositions are one of kind, and speak a language that may seem foreign to many people but somehow the instruments flatter each other and show the trio in a promising light.