A highly unusual live album of improvisation that works most meaningfully in that the spontaneous composition coheres structurally, emotionally and above all this there is a weight to the outcome. The elements are crisply enough captured - there are no real issues with the mix apart from the sometimes muddy piano sound - if Live at St Mary's obtains a CD release, which hopefully it will need to, a fresh mastering might garner brighter fidelity in places. The tap dance of Petra Haller that proved convincing at Azalea in the summertime here for the first time in a trio with free-jazz pianist Meg Morley and the free-jazz and AfroCuba influenced trumpeter and flugel player Loz Speyer recording in a Putney church in September. Petra's feet act as percussion so think of her as a drummer playing on a practice pad rather than a drum with the snare off, the clash of brittle shoe polymer and board together creates its own piquant series of resonances and sometimes you'd swear it's even castanets at play such is Petra's nimble footwork. Morley is frequently serene, even pointillistic. Speyer, a player who should be far better known and celebrated, is an enjoyably plangent pleasure especially on the flugel, stark but also passionate. Moving in places it's a collaboration that harnesses a sense of in-the-moment reaction to distilled expression stored in a collective imagination that unveils itself naturally. The highlight is the three autonomous independent lines explored on 'The Three of Us' where to use a significant Weather Report remark Joe Zawinul is attributed to have made however much this lands in a completely different idiom - ''No one solos, everyone solos.''
Meg Morley, top left, Loz Speyer, Petra Haller, photo: from the cover art