'Super-Organism' on Wandersphere underlines the feeling regardless of its substantial 30-minute duration that it's often good to trust your best instincts and stay the course. Recorded in late-2020 at The Samurai Hotel in the New York borough of Queens, the album itself is issued by the Swiss Intakt label on Friday.
You won't however be rewarded by any instant gratification feeling of sturm und drang. It's definitely not an instrumental piece that you can even think about humming or opening the car window and blasting out however deliriously you may want to greet the traffic and the night air with its remarkable sound. I know you want to. That's because of its avant sound, chromaticism and the way it dangles fractured dissonance and lack of any easy resolution like a sword of Damocles within its internal drama and sense of abstraction. But you will collect a sense of flow and connection. And following note by note you will be kept guessing as a listener and come away enlightened.
Drummer Eric McPherson formidable here, well-known for his work with the great Fred Hersch, is here along with double bassist Stephan Crump (the long-time bassist in the enormously-acclaimed classic Vijay Iyer trio) and completing the trio the very widely-admired avant pianist Kris Davis. All three operate in an open space in terms of musical architecture and parity of esteem. In the lead-off piece streaming Crump dives in and mainly out and beyond the bar line, sometimes during a big Davis statement for instance he pushes and pulls with overt, strict metre, or not because sometimes there is a gravity-less feel to the beat. You get that most valued quality a head-bobbing sensation achieved and delivered not by swing, although there is often a triplet feel, because the trio do not use the classic language but choose instead a specific polyrhythmic and contrapuntal path of their own invention. It sounds fresh and compelling. Eric McPherson, above left, Kris Davis, Stephan Crump. Photo: Jimmy Katz