Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Paul Motian Trio 2000 + Two - Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 2 (Winter and Winter, 2008)

Drummer Paul Motian has been on a tear recently, releasing excellent music as a leader, co-leader or sideman on a variety of labels. His Winter and Winter recordings usually focus on his Electric Bebop Band, but this is a special group with EBB veterans and some ringers as well. Joining Motian are Mat Maneri on viola, Greg Osby on alto saxophone, Chris Potter on tenor saxophone, Masabumi Kikuchi on piano and Larry Grenadier on bass. The music is fascinating to listen to because much of the message is implied rather than impressed upon you. The group is truly creating in the moment, and this is best shown by the track "Sunflower" which is strong, bracing jazz where deep, dark chords from the piano and shifting, ever changing percussion make for a deep and challenging performance. "Fiasco" has an edgy cacophonous feel to is with the addition of Osby and Maneri adding additional colors and textures to the music. The band skirts on the edge of anarchy, but it never slips into chaos, remaining turbulent and exciting throughout. This is a very good set of exciting, strong jazz. The dark lush piano playing by Kikuchi was particularly impressive as was the leader's drumming, he rarely slips into a traditional backbeat or solo, but drives the band with a firm hand, directing the music with subtle shifts of rhythm.
Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 2 - amazon.com

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