Drumming legend Paul Motian is no stranger to trio sessions, given his historic work with legendary pianist Bill Evans, and bass-less endeavors with guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Joe Lovano, for example. Here, Motian eschews a bassist for an album that acutely parallels the title. Saxophonist Chris Potter, a member of the drummer’s Electric Bebop Band and pianist Jason Moran convey addicting attributes on this live set, recorded at New York City’s Village Vanguard. Featuring mostly Motian original compositions, the band spawns an ever-so-gradual ascension on a per track basis. It’s a relaxed and non-hurried set, which is seemingly perfect for the nighttime jazz venue aesthetic; The lack of a bassist offers clarity and openness. And the drummer’s musicality shines glowingly via his soft brushes, and accenting cymbals in alignment with his band-mates’ probing storylines atop blossoming pulses.
On the title piece "Lost In A Dream," Potter renders simmering and yearning lines that elicit notions of inner reckoning, shrewdly contrasted by Moran’s animated phrasings. Unsurprisingly, Motian is a painter as he generates understated grooves, shaded with asymmetrical flows and colorific treatments. Many of these works are quietly buoyant and loom as ballads with a distinct edge. So, it’s not all about fluffy themes and melancholic episodes. But they do create some steam during "Ten," abetted by the pianist’s spiraling notes and climactic approach, melded with a pinch of dissonance and grandiose block chords. Moving forward, they broaden the outlook on "Drum Music," where Potter and Motian engage in intense call and response exchanges amid a clever lower-register rock motif layed down by Moran. In sum, Lost In A Dream soothes the heart and caresses the soul.