Interpret It Well

Interpret It Well

Expanding on the trio concept he documented for ECM in 2016 (The Bell), percussionist Ches Smith reunites with pianist Craig Taborn and violist Mat Maneri while adding the renowned Bill Frisell on guitar. The music ebbs and flows as Smith divides his time between vibraphone and drums, creating space for gradual development over long stretches (“Trapped” and “Deppart” bookend the set with briefer textural movements). Frisell and Maneri bring out a raw electric element, using signal processing of various kinds for sonic density and unpredictability, while Taborn details his harmonic wisdom on acoustic piano throughout. Smith guides the group in an engaging give-and-take between floating abstraction and a more clearly defined, even driving rhythm; between intricately composed passages and freely improvised episodes and segues.

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