You See What We're Sayin...?

thomas borgmann - reeds
wilber morris - bass
reggie nicholson - drums

  • Goodbye Mr. Charles 28:36
  • Mothers & Fathers 15:42
  • Forecasts 7:33
  • Everything Falls Into Place 13:44
  • recorded October, 12th, 1998 at the Spirit Room
  • CIMP 188


Down-Beat Magazin, March 2000
for CD ....You See What We Sayin’? CIMP 188:

...written for this group’s late drummer Denis Charles, is an unspeakably sad and beautiful, half-hour requiem, throughout, the trio is warm, spiritual, far-reaching and organic. The impressive Borgmann has a furry, round sound and great energy; Morris’ sweet bass pulse recalls Native America and Africa...


*SIGNAL TO NOICE* (USA) No16, April 2000

CD: You See What We're Sayin...?

>Like his compatriot Peter Brötzmann, with whom he has frequently collaborated over the past few years, Thomas Borgmann can be described as a modern day version of a "tough" tenor.

All blues implications aside, the German saxofonist can really take it to the physical limit, with stretched out, fullbodied, scalar runs.
Yet, both his Orkestra Kith n' Kin and his current project prove he can ease up on the throttle and keep it simple with emotionally stirring, tenor laments, that would feel at home on the Impulse roster from the mid-sixties.

This is particularly true on the slowly evolving opening track "Goodbye Mr. Charles," which reflects the trio's despair over the loss of their former colleague.
On this piece, the trio begins with barely audible sounds, slowly gains ground, picking up momentum after the wonderfully mediative middle section and extends into a runaway train of overflowing intensity by the conclusion.

Though greatly understand in the mix, Morris' bass keeps the trio at bay, as he intertwines deft pizzicato lines between the others, or bows up a melancholy threnody of his own. Nicholson is a much less melodic drummer than Charles, but his ability to drive a group bodies well for Borgmann, who really capitalizes on such a foundation and sounds fully animated throughout.

It's curious how the alteration of personnel by one player can have such an obvious effect on a group's dynamic; yet somehow, they sound like an entirely different trio with a new lease on life.<

Jon Morgan



liner notes:

This recording session occurred at the end of BMN’s 8000 mile fall tour of the United States, but its genesis was in 1996 in a trio when Wilber, Thomas, and Denis Charles first got together.

Then, in September 1997, Thomas came up to The Spirit Room with Wilber, Denis, and guest Peter Brötzmann and recorded Stalker Songs (CIMP 160).
At that time, Wilber spoke to me about trying to make that trio an on-going reality, plan a tour for the next year and wind up with a recording at the end.
I agreed in principle. He set about making arrangements and then, on March 26, 1998, Wilber called me with the stunning and very sad news that Denis Charles had died.
We mumbled together about things and it was clear Wilber only knew what had happened, not what was going to happen.
I figured that was the end of that.
That trio, which had just returned from a month’s tour of Europe, had continued to coalesce and the loss of any one of its parts would so greatly affect the whole, I figured it would discourage investment or reinvestment of one’s soul and energies.

However, pretty soon Wilber began speaking of trying to find the right drummer and continue an association with Thomas.
And then the name Reggie Nicholson (AACM-er, now based in NYC) came into play and Wilber made references to BMN. A tour began to take shape and this session was scheduled.
A few days before BMN’s arrival at CIMP, Wilber called from the road to adjust some scheduling and at the same time voiced unreserved enthusiasm about the music on the tour.

The trio arrived in the early afternoon, ate, rested, socialized, ate supper, quickly accomplished a sound check and opened with Goodbye Mr. Charles. The “old” trio is dead. Long live the BMN Trio.

These are monumental spirits, musicians who play with great definition and space. This music goes beyond walls and is all-encompassing.
At its best it will raise your skin and explode in your soul as a glorious transcendent joy.
Breathe deeply and fill your ears with this gift of beauty.

Something very special was in the air.

Robert D. Rusch - 10/12/98


CD You See What We're saying'?

The BMN Trio is Thomas Borgmann on saxophones, Wilber Morris on bass, and Reggie Nicholson on drums. The Trio is the successor to an earlier group with Denis Charles, whose death led to the substitution of Nicholson.
Evidently, the trio made this recording in conjunction with a national tour, and the session has the feel of a concert performance, with the four tunes averaging more than fifteen minutes apiece.

The "you were there" production technique (a characteristic of all CIMP releases) of engineer Marc Rusch adds to that feeling, as the dynamics and sound vary dramatically without any artificial recording cushion.

Borgmann is a powerful performer, who when given time to stretch, displays a remarkable diversity of style; and Morris and Nicholson provide strong support.
More than many CDs, this one requires close listening due to the sometimes-slow buildup (particularly on the lengthy "Goodbye Mr. Charles) and organic development.
~ Steve Loewy, All Music Guide




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