Pianist David Haney and progressive-jazz drumming hero Andrew Cyrille started working together back in 2002. However, this trio endeavor signifies bassist Dominic Duval’s initial alignment with Haney. And it’s a good thing mind you, as the trio marches forward with a distinct group-centric mode of operations. In effect, they perpetuate a continually flowing asymmetrical rhythmic course, which is an attribute that’s not easily achieved within the freer realm.
Cyrille’s lyrical and melodic drumming style spawns a vast musical plane within the trio format. Yet here, Duval’s fluid and powerful bass lines add another dimension to the pianist and drummer’s previous duo engagement on the CIMP release titled Clandestine. During these eight pieces, Cyrille rolls off his partners’ phrasings with brisk jabs and polyrhythmic flurries, while continually maintaining the various metrics with his metronome-like cymbal taps and accentuating splashes.
The bulk of this undeniably appeasing session is engineered upon the artists’ ability to second guess and counterbalance each other’s statements. Although, the musicians never lose focus; hence, the sinuous flows and broad soundstage generates a more comprehensive outlook when speaking of the core piano trio format.
Haney’s voicings are often designed with micro-melodies that evolve, dissipate and then refreshed. On "Five Folk Blues," the pianist spins a ballad via spacious single note lines and gentle chord clusters while Duval shrewdly counterbalances his lower-mid register attack with upper register lines. And with "Musician’s Wren Blues," the band delves into a temperate swing vamp, abetted by Haney’s carefree, windblown attack with Cyrille tap-dancing his sticks across the kit.
Overall, the trio’s methodology is paced within a slightly impacting muse, where the instrumentalists’ respective energies seem channelized and purposeful. It’s one of the finer 2008 releases within this rather difficult to define genre. Their seamless balance of free form mechanisms with a loose sense of structure imparts one of many striking attributes contained throughout the sum of the parts.