As significant as Joe Lovano’s appearances on ECM have been, particularly with departed greats Paul Motian and John Abercrombie, it took a number of years for the tenor saxophone master to issue his debut for the venerated label. The result, Trio Tapestry, is strikingly divergent from the New Yorker's swing-intensive Trio Fascination efforts from an earlier period. The sparse and meditative aura he creates with pianist Marilyn Crispell and drummer Carmen Castaldi is something to get lost in, though there’s structural integrity in the abstract compositions and an interior dissonance and tension lurking throughout. The acclaimed Crispell, joining Lovano for the first time on record, brings a beautiful clarity of touch but also a propensity to trouble the waters like the free improviser she is. Castaldi, from Lovano’s “Street Band” of years past, has a loose, less-is-more approach but can stir up storms on pieces like “Spirit Lake” and “The Smiling Dog.” On “Mystic,” a dreamlike duet, his mallet textures are like distant thunder, in dialogue with Lovano’s evocative gongs and tarogato (a clarinet-like Hungarian woodwind).
One Time In
Seeds of Change
The Smiling Dog
11 Songs, 48 Minutes
January 25, 2019
℗ 2019 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin
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