E.C.F.A. TRIO – Die Fäden

(Pecan Crazy)

Emanation, Creation, Formation, Action – currently a quintet led by saxophonist Carl Smith – are here featured as a trio, with Jason Friederich (drums) and James Alexander (viola). The record is full of compositional excellence and improvisations based on restraint more than raging – and often meaningless – outbursts; themes and sketches are intelligently developed, not without a sense of humour, while the intercommunication among the musicians is one of the finest I’ve heard in recent jazz-and-beyond explorations. The coupling of viola and sax is consistently anti-metaphoric, elegantly fleshy, as Alexander and Smith work wonders understanding reciprocal directions without even thinking about their position. Friedrich sustains the rhythmic picture all alone, contributing with his own eclectic palette, underlining and stroking with utmost artistic education and gentle perspicacity. Alex Coke lends a fabulous flute in “3 eggs”, a piece that somehow reminds me of early Curlew. This is music for connoisseurs.

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