Joe Lovano, Marilyn Crispell, Carmen Castaldi, Trio Tapestry, ECM

IT IS hard to know where to begin with Trio Tapestry. Somehow, listening, you feel that you have stepped into the wrong room. It could even be a Charles Lloyd record. A long way from a hard bop blowing session, which is what you might expect with …

Published: 9 Nov 2019. Updated: 14 months.

IT IS hard to know where to begin with Trio Tapestry. Somehow, listening, you feel that you have stepped into the wrong room. It could even be a Charles Lloyd record. A long way from a hard bop blowing session, which is what you might expect with Joe Lovano, this is open, thoughtful and challenging music delivered in an unfamiliar language although its building blocks are deep down always there in terms of tone, blues connotation and means of expression.

‘Seeds of Change’, which in sequence is the second of the 11, is very beautiful with a real feeling of aching intimacy and rapport, and you might swear it hints at the melody of ‘Equinox’ before veering into a free floating bluesy reverie, an emergent Marilyn Crispell in serene contemplation. As the tonality waveringly oblique adds mystery and a sense of occasion, a weightlessness wraps the atmosphere in ribbons of space. Percussionist Carmen Castaldi sweeps forth in the latter part emerging as a glinting observational presence amid the steely fragility of the momentous mood.

Recorded last year at a studio in New York the overall approach strips sound back to poetic forms and if you think of albums as novels, short stories or poems this is definitely a poem.

There is nothing trite here and yet no overdone pomposity either. On ‘Razzle Dazzle’ instead of a show stopping anthem you get an ominous piano solo from Crispell who plays impeccably throughout, Lovano accompanying her mournfully as if this is a lament. ‘Sparkle Lights’ taken at a lento tempo also has that mood of requiem and the interplay between sax and piano is very respectful. In the end you consider that eternal rivalry of time and silence.

Lovano mostly refrains from showing us the powerful side of his playing although the ‘Piano / Drum Episode’ midway through has a weight to it that contrasts heavily with what has gone before or after when his tender side is more explored. His experiments with gongs on one track are frankly less engaging, however.

A very atypical Joe Lovano record all considered, not always overly stocked with great moments to be fair and a little lacking in killer material, but there is plenty here to enjoy and Lovano is to be applauded for his adventurous spirit and the seriousness of his spiritual questing. SG

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Much mo' Mose

Look for a new Mose Allison themed record on the way from Fat Possum Records called If You're Going to the City: A Tribute to Mose Allison to be released on the last Friday of November. A host of artists are featured including Taj Mahal, Robbie …

Published: 9 Nov 2019. Updated: 14 months.

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Look for a new Mose Allison themed record on the way from Fat Possum Records called If You're Going to the City: A Tribute to Mose Allison to be released on the last Friday of November. A host of artists are featured including Taj Mahal, Robbie Fulks, Jackson Browne, The Tippo Allstars feat. Fiona Apple, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, Chrissie Hynde, Iggy Pop, Bonnie Raitt, Loudon Wainwright III, Richard Thompson, Peter Case, Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin, Anything Mose!, Frank Black, and Amy Allison with Elvis Costello. With the CD and LP you also get a DVD copy of the BBC Mose Allison documentary Ever Since I Stole The Blues.

If You're Going to The City tracks are:

  1. Taj Mahal – Your Mind Is On Vacation

  2. Robbie Fulks – My Brain

  3. Jackson Browne – If You Live

  4. The Tippo Allstars featuring Fiona Apple – Your Molecular Structure

  5. Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite – Nightclub

  6. Chrissie Hynde – Stop This World

  7. Iggy Pop – If You're Going to the City

  8. Bonnie Raitt – Everybody's Crying Mercy

  9. Loudon Wainwright III – Ever Since the World Ended

  10. Richard Thompson – Parchman Farm

  11. Peter Case – I Don't Worry About A Thing

  12. Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin – Wild Man On the Loose

  13. Anything Mose! – The Way of the World

  14. Frank Black – Numbers On Paper

  15. Amy Allison with Elvis Costello – Monsters of the Id