On March 3, 1979, there was a set of performances in Havana, Cuba that were known as Havana Jam. Havana Jam was a 3-night festival that featured CBS artists including Billy Joel, Kris Kristofferson, Stephen Stills, Rita Coolidge, Stan Getz, Weather Report, and a host of others. During this period, Jaco Pastorius (innovative bass player for Weather Report) as well as Tony Williams, who had played with both Pastorius (in Weather Report) and McLaughlin (in Tony Williams Lifetime), teamed up with John McLaughlin in what Jaco would warmly refer to as The Trio of Doom. Until now, the only released recordings of this trio were on the CBS released Havana Jam and Havana Jam 2.
After this one –time live set, this band decided to re-record some of the live songs that were played at this festival, in a studio setting. One week later, the band rejoined and re-recorded the special tracks. Aside from the 3 songs found on Havana Jam 1 and 2 LPs, the rest of the tracks on this newly remastered and remixed Trio of Doom album, have never before been issued, and are heard here for the first time.
Trio of Doom begins with the live tracks performed from their 25-minute set including “Drum Improvisation” by Tony Williams. The three tunes written and performed by each member of this band include “Dark Prince” (McLaughlin), “Continuum” (Pastorius), and “Para Oriente” (Williams). The previously recorded “Are You the One, Are You the One?” is the only other extra live track performed that is included. The second half of Trio of Doom are the studio recorded versions of the live tracks. Bonus tracks include 2 very short alternate takes of “Para Oriente.” If you’re unfamiliar with Trio of Doom, they can best be explained as jazz/rock fusion jam. However you want to classify them, one thing is for certain, the magic is now on tracks for you to enjoy.
The included booklet contains liner notes from both John McLaughlin, who oversaw this project, and a well-researched and written essay by Bill Milkowski. There are photos, track listings, and some excellent sounding music that will make a wonderful addition to your library.
Imagine if this trio had decided to continue with what was then considered a “…combustible chemistry.” It didn’t happen and the world will never know what may have transpired except for the brief brilliance that flared brightly on this short legacy of songs from three important personas.