As If 3 Klinklaar

For instant compositions, these nine tracks come off like well thought-out pieces in the piano trio's repertoire. "Ball Shelly" swings with a relaxed groove and responsive support from spring-loaded drummer Wim Janssen and rich-toned bass from Raoul van der Weide. "MF" (Morton Feldman?) is full of hovering piano gestures and icy trills from Frank van Bommel, held aloft by elongated arco bass figures. The pianist's sure touch extracts piercing overtones then launches into a driving, fleet-fingered solo on "Afternotes." The title track features unison forays that yield to a haunting piano/bass dialogue over susurrating brush work that evolves into a stop-start interaction of inspired clarity. van Bommel uses chromatic chord patterns reminiscent of Monk's "Epistrophy," as on the insistently energetic "Horsecombing." This session must have been rewarding for the players, as the recorded results are compelling and retain the immediacy of a live performance. (Casco)