(Loose Torque)

Dedicated to the memory of Elton Dean, “Today’s play” comprises five attractive improvisations for trumpet, bass and drums. I don’t know if the reference to the late saxophonist counts for something, but a well discernible sadness seems to pervade the atmosphere throughout the album, which is as concentrated and intensely melancholic as one can get. Corbett is an articulated transmitter of melodic virtuosity, which he carries for long distances without sacrificing his quest for timbral purity, explicated through post-Davis plasticity and more idiosyncratic configurations where multiphonics and gentle exhalations get a little space under the spotlight. Stephens’ bodily sound is adequately harmonious, filling the record with constructive relationships based upon a fundamental immediacy which brings the listener to instantly metabolize its byproducts; both by plucking and through short fragments of arco work, the bassist manages to create a small, protective world of his own – yet open to all visitors. Tony Marsh’s delicately articulate touch is a definite plus, his extraordinary inventiveness not diminished by the total control that his technique exercises on an otherwise intense necessity of tripping outside the canons of jazz. An album of exquisite pleasures, finely interpreted by experienced artists who own a sensitive side which they aren’t afraid to show; for sure, one of the very best Loose Torque releases.

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