eMusic Review 0
Kudos to pianist Geri Allen, who had just turned 30 and had two albums released under her own name when the legendary rhythm section of Haden and Motian, the backbone of Keith Jarrett's best ensemble and individually crucial to landmark records by Ornette Coleman (Haden) and Bill Evans (Motian), invited her to be part of their intimate trio in 1987. The wisdom of that decision is immediately apparent on a version of Ornette's “Lonely Woman” that by itself justifies the recording. With exquisite restraint, Allen sketches some of the contours of the normally horn-driven melody, so that even industrious bass and drums conveys a sense of floating activity or suspended animation best appreciated by those who know the familiar tune. Another standout is Haden's “Silence,” which has the cameo effect of Allen tapping out the beats while Haden bass unveils the theme.
Motian's timbral precision is especially beneficial in this relatively delicate setting. The heat he generates is like the campfire that browns but never inflames the marshmallow, even on a track like his “Fiasco,” which has a hectoring, agitated quality. Set between “Sandino,” one of Haden's broad, flat themes, and gently vamping miniature, “Etude,” you get sucked into… read more »