Queen Mab Trio: Thin Air (2006)
The music of the two-parts-Canadian-one-part-Dutch group is light yet evocative and has a waysomething like a fairy in a hazelnut-shell chariot dashing through your headof setting the mind adrift. Without percussion and often staying in midrange, clarinetist Lori Freedman, violist Ig Henneman and pianist Marilyn Lerner play a music that is light yet complex, with a feeling of spontaneity while clearly, at times, composed.
For their fourth record, they've looked their literary namesake dead on. They've taken Hector Berlioz' "Queen Mab Suite, from his Romeo and Juliet symphony for orchestra and voice, but familiarity with that work isn't requisite for falling into the Queen Mab Trio's dreamland. They use their instruments to great variety without ever forcing them beyond their voices and find various means of creating textures, even on Freedman's "Nab Mab, with syncopated whispering. Ultimately, they find their own, compelling ways of mixing the so-called "classical language of 19th century Europe with contemporary modes of improvisation. None of that is requisite, either, however. Better just to let them gallop lightly through your brain.
Track Listing: Thin Air; Vehement; Drums and Trumpets; Hersenpinsels; Nab Mab; Fluette et Legere; Skirmishes and Sudden Thrusts; Tumulte; Spiders Fingers.
Personnel: Lori Freedman: bass clarinet, clarinet; Ig Henneman: viola; Marilyn Lerner: piano.
Record Label: Wig
Style: Modern Jazz