Mark Dresser / Myra Melford / Michael Dessen: San Diego: April 17, 2011
Dresser opened "Deep Forest" with his own solo tour-de-force. Using both hands to tap independent lines that moved in opposite directions, the bassist seemed transfixed in the beautiful world he was creating. Dessen added his touches, exploiting the tonal range of his horn: sometimes with a golden, dipped-in-honey timbre, sometimes followed by huge, fat discourses that threatened to warp his horn. Melford got in a short, powerful turn, then it was a gradual diminuendo on pedal tones to close out the improvisation.
The wild, multidimensional affair drew to a close with an original by the trombonist, "Quark Charms." This was the perfect piece to end with, as it served as a most logical bookend to the opener, with a similar modal, call-and-response melody and pensive, thoughtful soloing.
Kudos to the University of California for funding this marriage of state-of-the-art technology with the absolute cutting edge of adventurous music. Much respect to Dresser, Melford and Dessen for taking the leap into the brave new world of telematic performance.