Paul Motian Trio Time and Time Again

It would be hard to find a jazz group with a more developed rapport than the Paul Motian Trio. Not only do drummer Motian, guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Joe Lovano understand one another’s every gesture and nuance but they push each other to stretch conceptually, as well. This ten-song offering covers territory we’ve heard them explore before, but the group’s self-assurance and use of space are ramped up several notches. Few groups would dare to brave the almost ascetic emptiness within which Lovano and Frisell string their floating melodies together on "Party Line.” Motian masterfully nudges Monk’s "Light Blue,” referencing the melody’s rhythmic identity first obliquely then directly while tenor and guitar freely paint inside and outside the tune’s changes. The music is an ethereal blend of mellow and intense. This is a strong statement from a state of the art group. (ECM) (ECM)