Kirk Knuffke is an up and coming trumpet player (now focusing on cornet according to his web site) who leads a very well focused and classy trio on this live recording taken from The Roulette in 2009. He is joined on this recording by Kenny Wollesen on drums and Lisle Ellis on bass. The music has an open ended and elastic feel, with the music coming in a continuous suite like formation, with themes drifting to the fore and then improvised upon. Beginning at a medium tempo, Wollesen and Ellis create a deep pocket that is rife with musical possibility. Knuffke has a bright and warm sound to his instrument, and they play strong collective improvisation with depth and integrity. He steps out with spare and yearning unaccompanied trumpet at one point, filling with space around him with deeply emotional music. Their final medley on the album begins with a spare, fragile feeling, abstract bowed bass scrapes the open space, sculpting and molding the sound in conjunction with trumpet and subtle percussion. Wollesen develops a drum solo, still muted but quite impressive in its controlled power. The group finishes their journey with some punchy fast trio improvisation. he music on this album is graceful and subtle, with the three musicians completely attuned to their musical mission. This is a thoughtfully done album with rewards close listening. Chew Your Food - NoBusiness Records
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