Evan Shaw / Jean Martin Piano Music

From the opening seconds of Piano Music, the listener can feel an electric current passing between drummer Jean Martin and alto saxophonist Evan Shaw. The musicians are in deep communion with one another, listening, feeling and moving together. With instrumentation this spare, with every gesture under the microscope, Martin and Shaw have to be ultra-confident that what they produce will withstand the kind of scrutiny Martin’s crystal-clear production brings to their improvising. And little here bears the imprint of over-thinking and second-guessing — the music materialises magically. Martin’s playing has been documented in detail elsewhere but altoist Evan Shaw has been woefully under-recorded (his work with guitarist/composer Ken Aldcroft notwithstanding). His blistering pyrotechnics on "Sweeter than a Plastic Bag” smacks of inspired Jimmy Lyons and elsewhere makes elliptical reference to Dewey Redman. Track for track, this CD packs some serious wallop. (Barnyard)