Assif Tsahar / Mat Maneri / Jim Black Jam

Trio music can be one of the most satisfying combinations. This is provided all members of the ménage-a-trio speak the same language. Lucky for us, this trio is fluent in the language of improvisation. All long term vets of the improv scene, the trio really shows what it’s like to have common ground and explore their differences. Reed man Assif Tsahar is infamous for his robust gales of wind, and on this record he doesn’t disappoint. I love the fact that he’s using the bass clarinet now more often than before. Violinist Mat Maneri, together with percussionist Jim Black, weaves audacious melodies around each other. Well, they’re not always what would be commonly known as melodies, but they sustain a melodic feel for the greater part of the proceeding. What really gets to me is that this record is not composed in any shape or form, though it does feel that way. I am thrilled to report that whatever magical force that exists between these three, it is in full evidence on Jam. Like jam on bread, this is some of the sweetest jazz improv stuff you’re bound to hear all year. (Hopscotch)