Aki Takase A Week Went By

A free-improv disc by pianist Aki Takase is bound to make for absorbing listening. A musician of extraordinary depth and breadth whose recordings span the gamut from Fats Waller and Duke Ellington to Ornette Coleman and beyond, she generates unrelenting streams of ideas, all articulated with precision and passion. Joined by bassist John Edwards and drummer Tony Levin, the trio play with abundant energy, as on "Steinblock," which veers from pummelling to plaintive within seconds. Takase is never less than fiery, ripping off rapid-fire lines and full-fisted clusters, while Edwards slaps and taps his bass to keep the energy flowing. There's one duet, "Just Drop In," with free-jazz founding father alto-saxophonist John Tchicai. His dry, full tone is an exciting counterfoil to Takase's jabbing style, as both deliver repeated pitches in remarkable back-and-forth exchanges of ideas and Tchicai interjects a witty quotation of Monk's "Epistrophy." Possibly a bit abstract for some, A Week Went By is strong playing by wickedly skilled improvisers. (Psi)