Apr 19, 2016
"This live recording finds the collaborative trio of Rempis, Johnston, and Ochs hard at work in the middle of their first full-on North American tour in May of 2015. Documenting a concert from the landmark venue Hallwalls in Buffalo, NY, the trio follows up on their 2014 release Spectral, having taken their unique approach to spontaneous composition to the next level through the crucible that only touring can provide. On this new recording they tackle two pieces that are significantly more extended than the ones documented on that earlier release, while still employing the same core strategy that made that recording so compelling; an ability to look far down the road in order to anticipate the larger structures that can emerge from even the slightest gesture. The trio moves with patience, and capitalizes on space, waiting for the appropriate moments to strike, always at the service of the ensemble motion.

As this process unfolds, they employ a seemingly endless wealth of musical approaches, in which lush harmonies dissolve into breathy overtones and tea kettle whispers, which then shift into snarls and smears of sound built up thick and chunky on the canvas. At other times, all three show the ability to swoop in like so many vultures, pile onto a phrase, and then drop off individually as if falling off their own respective cliff. Meanwhile the rough and tumble timbres of Ochs’ gruff but tender tenor sound mix with Johnston’s seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of the myriad mute techniques of the early-Ellington trumpet sections, to create a pallet of unbelievable breadth. This live document truly shows a band at a creative and developmental peak."

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