While guitarist Bill Frisell and tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano are two of jazz's best explorers, both started as protÉgÉs of break-the-jazz-rules master drummer Paul Motian.
While guitarist Bill Frisell and tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano are two of jazz's best explorers, both started as protégés of break-the-jazz-rules master drummer Paul Motian. He enlisted them for his bands in the early '80s, including his trio, founded in 1984. The chemistry is still sublimely potent as the threesome reunites again for lyrical and angular free-speech jazz with "I Have the Room Above Her." Motian, who doesn't swing in the traditional sense, eases forth the nuanced improvisations that are dreamy, atmospheric and deeply expressive but never predictable. The trio plays an engaging mystical jazz that requires attentive listening, such as on "Osmosis Part III," where Motian taps the cymbals and Frisell loops drip-like guitar notes while Lovano whispers the melodic lead. The tempo accelerates and the heat rises on the whimsical "Dance," Motian tumbles with dynamics on the bold "One in Three" and the trio lusciously renders Thelonious Monk's "Dreamland" for the nightcap.—DO