Paul Motian Trio: I Have The Room Above Her (2005)
I Have The Room Above Her is an album of deep mystery and sustaining grace. From the hauntingly evocative cover art to the solemn hush of the music within, drummer Paul Motian, guitarist Bill Frisell, and saxophonist Joe Lovano have created an album that lends itself beautifully to the higher serenity of meditation. The songs, all but two composed by Motian, lead to or fold back into each other like fleeting vignettes and memories. Yet, as ethereal as the album is, it also offers some grounding in folk melody, as on "Odd Man Out, that grants the listener some solid ground.
An intense sensitivity is the hallmark of the albumtenderness in the way the musicians treat both the material and each other. Each member of the trio performs superbly throughout, but notice must be given to the varied shades of color Frisell contributes. From the shy solo that emerges on the title track by Oscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern to the ghostly electronic pulses that switch on during "The Riot Act, Frisell seems to have an unlimited number of tools with which to add accents. His approach to his instrument teems with possibility.
I Have The Room Above Her is a magnificent album. Instead of focusing on hotshot soloing, it rewards repeated listening by putting the focus on group interaction. There are great stories in the conversations Motian, Frisell, and Lovano have on the album. The magic is that in hearing these performances, the listener is compelled to add his own thoughts to the proceedings.
Track Listing: Osmosis Part III; Sketches; Odd Man Out; Shadows; I Have The Room Above Her; Osmosis Part I; Dance; Harmony; The Riot Act; The Bag Man; One In Three; Dreamland.
Personnel: Paul Motian: drums, Bill Frisell: guitar, Joe Lovano: tenor saxophone.