Joe Maneri/Barre Phillips/Mat Maneri: Angles of Repose (2004)
Angles of Repose reconvenes Joe Maneri with son Mat on viola and bassist Barre Phillips, the same trio responsible for '99's Tales of Rohnlief . While continuing on with the same explorations into the microtonal, with ten unnamed pieces that expand the possibilities of group interplay and communication, this is a somewhat more subdued affair, but while the extremes are more contained, it is no less adventurous.
Improvisations range from miniatures like "Number Seven," a clarinet-bass duet, and "Number Eight," a succinct trio piece, to the more extended "Number Four" and "Number Nine." Individual track descriptions are pointless; this is a work that is meant to be absorbed in toto. Be warned: this is a dark and brooding work, with little levity. While there is, at times, a certain playfulness, especially on "Number Nine," where all three players deftly explore the ranges of their instruments, there is nothing that could be considered remotely joyful about the experience.
One is sometimes surprised by the broad palette of sound coming from so limited a group of instruments. While the prospect of seventy-plus minutes of completely free, atonal and microtonal explorations can be daunting, there is a remarkable variety to be found; the exceptional dynamics and ambiences, which range from dense to spacious, make Angles of Repose a captivating listen for those who like their music to be free of boundaries and prepossession.
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Track Listing: Number One; Number Two; Number Three; Number Four; Number Five; Number Six; Number Seven; Number Eight; Number Nine; Number Ten
Personnel: Joe Maneri (alto and tenor saxophones, clarinet), Barre Phillips (double-bass), Mat Maneri (viola)
Record Label: ECM Records
Style: Modern Jazz