Paul Motian: I have the room above her

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

WORKS: Osmosis, Sketches, Odd Man Out, Shadows, I Have The Room Above Her, Osmosis, Dance, Harmony, Riot Act, Bag Man, One In Three, Dreamland
PERFORMER: Joe Lovano, Bill Friswell, Paul Motian
CATALOGUE NO: 982 4056


The refined, almost telepathic interplay Paul Motian, Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano bring to these collaborations mainly concerns nuance and timbre. Listen to the subtle textural mileage they gather during the ambient-like ‘Osmosis’ Parts III and I, or how Motian’s ride cymbal appears to foreshadow the shape and the groove of Bill Frisell’s pithy lines. Frisell, in turn, astutely shadows the focused simplicity of Joe Lovano’s work without stepping on its toes.


Sometimes Frisell and Lovano leisurely unfold their material as Motian fills (but never clutters) the silences with simultaneous, seemingly unrelated interior monologues, as in the title track. In other words, there’s more variety than you hear on the surface, although a piece like ‘One in Three’ offers a little more overt virtuosity and dynamic momentum than the relatively laid-back norm that prevails on this album. Manfred Eicher’s production values are up to their usual crystal-clear paradigm. Jed Distler