(Clean Feed)

“A measure of vision” was recorded – in six hours! – by Alvin Fielder (drums and percussion), Chris Parker (piano) and Dennis Gonzalez (C and Bb trumpets) with the occasional help of Aaron and Stefan Gonzalez (Dennis’ sons) on acoustic bass, drums and vibes. It’s a one-of-a-kind mixture of influences, glorified by uncommon sensitiveness by all the involved instrumentalists. The beauty of execution and deep feeling that the trio expresses in Federico Mompou’s “A mon frère” is a rare thing, followed straight away by the very lyrical “Camel”, a piece by Dennis Gonzalez that recalls – both in title and general disposition – some of Frank Zappa’s music in the “Hot Rats” and “Grand Wazoo” eras, something whose complexity belies a bottom structural limpidness that renders the listening a sheer exercise in pleasure. Fielder’s illustrious past collaborations (Roscoe Mitchell and Sun Ra to name just a couple) are present in spirit but, curiously enough, it looks like all the energies were channeled towards a pretty rational exploration of moods and states of mind, with only few moments of true liberation, if always in full check of the nervous levels of the music itself. Parker’s chordal work represents the most evident touch of grace in several of the tracks, which often become a hybrid canvas of harmonic architectures and impromptu decisions highlighting the musicians’ creative input. Gonzalez’s lines are as always serenely heartfelt, and the leader’s drumming is so discreetly knowledgeable that its presence is almost more guessed than heard. In these 68 minutes there’s not a single misstep.

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