German multi-woodwind artiste Gebhard Ullmann forges onward with his customary rendering of stylistic integrity and adventurism within his adored trio format. In the liners, Ullmann provides a historical backdrop of his fondness for trios, often-featuring "uncommon" lineups. And of course he his extensive discography includes multiple aggregations, spanning small to medium size ensembles and his large orchestra endeavors. On this studio set recorded at an acoustically-attractive Berlin chamber music hall, Ullmann aligns with legendary pianist Art Lande and longtime band-mate, bassist Chris Dahlgren.
Starkly beautiful and sometimes foreboding, the musicians integrate toys into the somewhat moody and ethereal mix, offering semblances of an after-hours exploration session. Ullmann’s masterful work on bassclarinet and saxes generate gobs of contrast amid Lande’s dainty phrasings. Ultimately, this unit’s glaring musical intimacy speaks proverbial volumes. In various spots, Lande provides great depth via his avant-garde spiced, tinker-bell piano voicings and mood-evoking exchanges with his cohorts. On the piece titled "Blaue Nixe," Ullmann’s yearning soprano sax lines contrast the trio’s bluesy vibe. And with "From What I Remember," Lande’s bewildering, contrapuntal chord progressions elicit notions of a quietly beautiful vista. Overall, the music iterated here is designed with a sequence of intersecting vignettes, where one’s state-of-mind becomes seized, tantalized and refreshed. (Recommended.... )