Adam Lane Trio: Absolute Horizon (2013)
Adam Lane is among the best and brightest of the new wave of forward- looking jazz and improvising bassists, who along with his formidable cohorts exploit the trio format. Here, every inflection, tonality and nuance becomes prominently embedded into the group's stylization which is based on instant composition. No doubt, the musicians' astonishing synergy is a powerful underlying component. Sprinkled with off-kilter thematic overtures, blooming tone poems, and unwieldy or tumultuous breakouts, the trio largely straddles the avant-garde spectrum. Lane also uses electronics on certain pieces, adding another, albeit hard- edged contour that yields a series of bizarre connotations.
Each piece stands on its own. Nonetheless, the band does its best to carve out a diverse program. A prime example is "Apparent Horizon," which is the lengthiest workout at 10-minutes. Exploration is the common denominator as Lane opens with subdued arco notes, circumnavigated by alto saxophonist Darius Jones' warm lines that enrich the rather eerie soundscape. Moving forward, they open up the floor as drummer Vijay Anderson punches out a peppery African rhythm across his toms. Lane follows suit with a booming ostinato, setting the foundation for Jones' surging choruses, as he also mirrors the buoyant pulse with a newly concocted melody.
After listening to the album, it's somewhat mystifying that the program was constructed entirely on improvisation. This attribute alone serves as a testament to the artists' stunning interactions and reformulations, evidenced within each ensuing development.
Personnel: Adam Lane: bass; Darius Jones: alto saxophone; Vijay Anderson: drums.
Record Label: NoBusiness Records
Style: Modern Jazz