, opening the title tune of the Japanese pianist's Trace a River (Libra Records, 2008) with a ghostly arco whine that sounds as if it drifted in out of the twilight zone, before the ever-mercurial Fujii shifts the tune into a mini-riot between piano, drummer Jim Black
and Dressera fight that the bassist seems to have (temporarily) won, via the emergence from the maelstrom of his rumbling, chest-thumping pizzicato solo. He's a bit more restrained on his work in the title tune of The Guest House (Enja, 2011), from the collective Trio M, with drummer Matt Wilson
The set features Dresser leading a standard jazz quintettwo horns, bass, piano and drumswhose music is anything but standard. "Not Withstanding" opens the set with a hurricane of ensemble interplay. Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa
's clamorous, insurrectionary drumming. The thirteen-minute title tune rambles to life as a sort of drunken rhumba that shifts, after the leader's intricate arco turn, to a soothing lullaby that eventually moves into a somber squabble between Mahanthappa and Dessen, before tripping back to lullaby land.
is one key to the success of this collective's sounds. He plays what is called "Hyper-piano," a style in which objectstools, toys and whatnotare applied to the piano strings for the creation of sounds ("eerie" is the word that comes most readily to mind) that reach far beyond the normal timbre of the instrument, or any other instrument, for that matteradding a uniqueness to the ensemble sound. Another key is the useon different tunesof two very different drummersTom Rainey