Leroy Jenkins’ Driftwood: The Art of Improvisation (2006)
Jenkins and Xiao-Fen lead the momentum on "To Live, with O'Donnell busily beating and Maroney adding unusual acoustics from his prepared piano. Jenkins spins a ribbon of melody while Xiao-Fen deftly plucks plenty pizzicato. "To Sing offers each player an extended solo statement. Maroney opens with the piano prepared in such a way as to make the muted strings sound like they're sliding on their own. Jenkins enters keening high delicate spiraling tones. O'Donnell bubbles up out of deep sound, before settling on drums. Xiao-Fen begins subtly but digs in sounding like her instrument is looped. The others join for an ensemble finish.
After a fast start, To Run features a furious group improvisation that keeps all parties highly engaged. Jenkins slyly introduces "To Believe, a quieter ensemble piece that swells and retreats around Jenkins' probing bow.
Living up to its title, The Art of Improvisation features four bristling performances crafted in the moment by the highly attentive ensemble, merging and emerging through their shared creations.
Track Listing: To Live; To Sing; To Run; To Believe.
Personnel: Min Xiao-Fen: pipa, Leroy Jenkins: violin; Denman Maroney: piano; Rich O’Donnell: percussion
Record Label: Mutable Music
Style: Modern Jazz