From the opening of part-one invention
, the music here swirls in waves of sound. These three strong voices push things forward with a dynamic energy. Waters’ clarinet stands out, its wooden voice thinner and more nasal than a sax. The tonality is a perfect foil for the strength of the piano and drums. Pianist Shipp delivers a strong performance. Whether pounding out thick chunks of chords, or spinning arpeggiated lines, there is a sense of harmony to his playing. Drummer Barker plays free and propels the music while retaining a jazz drummer’s sensibility.
The duet, two-part invention
, has the piano and clarinet spinning musical webs around each other. Shipp’s playing is reminiscent of Marilyn Crispell, strong, yet often delicate in touch. Barker shines on three-one invention
. His solo drumming dances with a lightness that many free drummers seem to miss from their playing. He plays with intensity without being heavy handed. part-two invention
is a rolling sax/drums duet that flows by in a spiraling motion. part-four invention
is a remixed track that brings in electronic sounds/noise, as well as cut up snippets of the band to form a sort of free jazz collage. The results are interesting and not out of place within the context of the music.
The musicianship here is first rate and the playing inventive and interesting. Recommended for those who love adventurous free jazz.