Motian/Frisell/Lovano: Time and Time Again (ECM/Ode)

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Motian/Frisell/Lovano: Time and Time Again (ECM/Ode)

These musicians -- drummer Paul Motian, guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Joe Lovano -- are of the generation which has, by the attrition of age of those who preceeded them, are becoming the senior statesmen of jazz.

Yes, figures such as Ornette Coleman and Joe Henderson are still around, but their output is so minimal as to be of little impact today.

However these guys -- Motian now in his mid 70s, the other two in their mid 50s -- are not only still very visible in numerous and diverse line-ups, but have played together in this bass-less trio since the early 80s.

Their debut album together Psalm is a classic, and I defy anyone not to be wooed and won by the woozy charm of the track Mandeville on it.

Here, as always, they caress rather than cajole, tease out melodies rather than test them, and everywhere is that weightlessness propelled by Motian's melodic drumming, Frisell's shimmering guitar and Lovano's fluttering flights. In places you may hear the influences of Coleman (notably on the seven-minute In Remembrance of Things Past) and Thelonious Monk, but mostly this is a singular vision by three of the finest jazz musicians of our time.

Enchanting.

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