(CIMP)

Bassist and composer Michael Bisio declares himself to be a superstitious man, thus explaining the strange album title, which joins its catalogue number and the name of the first track recorded in the session, here also the program’s opener. Personal convictions aside, we’re safely cuddled by a warm, smooth-going kind of slightly edgy jazz that shows both the qualities of innovation and various links to a reverenced past, without sounding outdated for a moment. In the rhythm section, the leader is sustained by drummer Jay Rosen, the pair working together as a perfect counterbalance for a couple of “conversational fighters” on reeds, Avram Fefer (tenor and soprano sax) and Stephen Gauci (tenor only), two soloists whose musical intelligence and will to share long confrontational moments makes for a few sizzling exchanges that mesh unhampered counterpoint and upfront nods to the giants. The swing-for-the-fences drumming creativity of Rosen – also excellent in the quieter sections – and the sober, always elegant tone of Bisio’s double bass define the foundations of the compositions (all penned by Michael except “The Fighting” – here we go again – by Bob Nell, a splendid fusion of reflection and right-about turns). Short linear cells are expanded until they become more complex constructions, their structure allowing repeated implementations of that kind of virtuosity whose primary nuance is modesty. Yet the best feature of “CIMP 360″ remains its sense of solid continuity and constant inspiration, the artists sharing intuitions and influences without despotism, a well regulated democracy that the length of the CD – about 72 minutes – does not endanger for a split second.

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