Published May 05, 2015Poised, playful and piquant by turns, trio c_RL create improvised music that engages. Rattling, pinging, dinging, poinging and thumping surround the sparse trumpet motif in "Boogie Woogie to the Church," a strong opener. "Kapow" lives up to its name with intense drums, stinging banjo and bawling trumpet. "A Little Dancing" features Nicole Rampersaud's round-toned trumpet, and her cheerful pentatonic theme is enmeshed by swarming percussion patterns by Germaine Liu. The good-natured piece reflects the fellow-feeling bond that connects these skilled, sensitive co-creators.
Composer/leader Allison Cameron has an acute ear for unlikely sound potential. Witness her use of a plastic ukulele in "How Poetic," for example: It thrums, plunks and glissandos and forms the centre of the quietly expressive piece, ceding to her amplified tappings. A sweet tenderness suffuses "c_RL Friends Forever," an intimate, slower-paced piece opened by harmonious toy piano chords, in which each moment glows with its own happy charm. Free improvisation seldom sounds this cheerfully and lovingly crafted. (Spume)