COMPOSERS: Paul Motian
PERFORMER: Chris Potter (sax), Jason Moran (piano), Paul Motian (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: ECM 2128
Live albums are by no means absent from the ECM catalogue, but nor are they routine, with this example being doubly unusual in that the tracks are drawn from a week of recorded gigs which Motian’s trio played at the Village Vanguard in New York during February of last year.
Purists may prefer the impetus of a single performance to this more measured slice-and-dice approach, but the programming subtleties it affords make for an intriguing set of artistic parameters, here resulting in a seductively gradual build-up from the barely-there statements of the initial tracks to the assertiveness of the later pieces.
As the music progresses (or has the benevolent illusion of progress thrust upon it) Motian’s own playing moves from provocative punctuation to spirited melodic walloping, no doubt encouraged by the absence of a bass instrument other than Moran’s left hand, while Potter remains responsive throughout. Captivating stuff, impeccably recorded. Roger Thomas