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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russ Lossing Trio: Oracle

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There are rolling, wide open spaces in the music of Russ Lossing. Much of this is traversed in the seemingly sprawling beauty of Oracle, an album that meanders in the absorbing colors and textures of what that which the trio offers up for seduction. It is easy to be swept up in the diaphanous gusts of sound that sweep across the terrain, which, in turn, opens up with Lossing's gorgeously cadenced arpeggios that skitter and ramble startlingly across the interminable landscape that the music opens out into. The result makes clear that this is repertoire that is dramatic and full ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russ Lossing Trio: Oracle

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Haunting, meditative, solemn and high-impact are descriptors that bear pianist Russ Lossing's approach and sensibilities. While Oracle denotes his trio's debut effort for hatOLOGY records, it's been a working unit for several years, largely based in New York City. The program is architected via disparate levels of pitch amid a capacious vibe, but the trio often picks up steam and executes through a vast plane of propositions, where gravitational pull and heavy-artillery counterattacks balance the flowing contours. Drummer Billy Mintz tenders the hauntingly melodic “Love and Beauty." With Lossing's interweaving voicings amid a pensive tone, the primary theme ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russ Lossing Trio: Oracle

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Pianist Russ Lossing's trio evokes a dreamlike state on Oracle, by communicating an atmosphere of unearthly elegance through trance-inducing energy. Lossing, bassist Masa Kamaguchi and drummer Billy Mintz commune at this level because they'd been a working trio for six years when this studio recording was made in 2007. Besides that, all three bring experience from the fertile jazz world: Lossing, as a member of bands led by Paul Motian, Dave Liebman, and Mat Maneri; Kamaguchi, with Frank Kimbrough, Matt Renzi, and John O'Gallagher; and Mintz, in bands with Vinny Golia, Tony Malaby, and Nels Cline.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russ Lossing / John Hebert: Line Up

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The profound depth of the interactions between pianist Russ Lossing and bassist John Hebert on their new duo recording bears the mark of a shared history and mutual respect and enthusiasm. Hebert and Lossing have both worked with many great artists who have shaped the history of jazz, including Paul Motian, Andrew Hill, Dave Liebman and John Abercrombie, as well as many more recent innovators like Mat Maneri, Uri Caine, Fred Hersch, Greg Osby and Mark Dresser. There may be a wealth of experience that informs these duets, but these two have also been working together for many years, having ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russ Lossing / John Hebert: Line Up

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Pianist Russ Lossing and bassist John Hebert have known each other a long time and have played together on a number of projects, including Lossing's own Phrase 6 (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2005), and, most recently, on the phenomenal “quasi-debut" of Michael Adkins, Rotator (HatOLOGY, 2008). After talking for a long time about making a duo recording, the two players finally did it, and the exceptional Line Up, is the result. As a player, Hebert's wide-ranging musical instincts allow him to literally adapt to the circumstances at hand, from Gebhard Ullman's brutally intense New Basement Research (Soul ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russ Lossing / John Hebert: Line Up

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Modern bass playing, and the special relationship in jazz between bass and piano, could be said to have begun in the early 1940s, with the partnership of pianist Duke Ellington and bassist Jimmy Blanton.

In a series of duo recordings as impactful, among musicians, as saxophonist Charlie Parker and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie's couplings a few years later, Blanton took his instrument beyond its role as a more or less lumpen metronomic device and, in intimate relationship with Ellington's piano, revealed its potential as a harmonically and rhythmically fully functioning, proactive presence.

Amongst the songs Ellington and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russ Lossing: All Things Arise

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Russ Lossing is a pianist of extreme depth and intensity whose music exists between jazz improvisation and modern classicism. All Things Arise will only cement this impression. His previous records include the marvelous Metal Rat (Clean Feed, 2006) with Mat Maneri and Mark Dresser, and the intense As It Grows (HatOLOGY, 2004) with Ed Schuller and Paul Motian. This time, however, Lossing is on solo piano, which only increases the intensity since every aspect of the sounds and emotions presented is in the soloist's hands. The piano used is very good and the recording quality impeccable, leading ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russ Lossing / Mat Maneri / Mark Dresser: Metal Rat

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A focused session of collective free improvisation conceived by pianist Russ Lossing, Metal Rat features the spontaneous interplay of three sympathetic musicians. Joined by violist Mat Maneri and bassist Mark Dresser, Lossing booked a recording studio for a mere four hours to instill a “real sense of urgency" to the proceedings. The ensuing session benefits from this pre-imposed constraint by lending an air of palpable tension to the work. Full of simmering intensity and dramatic flair, this is dark, intuitive chamber jazz at its finest.

The album is composed of four trio excursions, four duets and two distinctive ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russ Lossing / Mat Maneri / Mark Dresser: Metal Rat

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Much has been said about brevity by men who were anything but. Now, art benefits from aesthetic and compositional purity--no unnecessary lines, no superfluous words, no ostentatious displays of skill--but it is usually a byproduct of a brilliant work, not the sole purpose. Pianist Russ Lossing, violist Mat Maneri and bassist Mark Dresser manage dexterously to combine deliberateness and improvisation in Metal Rat, an album of established collaboration. In the liner notes, Lossing reveals that the album was recorded in less than four hours, with “a real sense of urgency. Only two compositions are included on the album--"Turn and “Is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russ Lossing: Metal Rat

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Metal Rat is a triumph from beginning to end. Along with pianist/leader Russ Lossing, violist Mat Maneri and bassist Mark Dresser have created a work of terrifying intensity and concentration of purpose that is engaging at many levels, simultaneously manifesting a steely ferocity that is nevertheless almost unbearably beautiful. The ten tracks have but two actual compositions ("Turn" and “Is Thick With"), which are easy to distinguish as such. The other tracks are a mix of trio improvisations ("Coming to Meet," “Ch'ien," “Metal Rat" and “Fire Monkey") and different duo groupings. Lossing states in the notes that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russ Lossing: All Things Arise

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Stuart Broomer's ponderous liner notes to Russ Lossing's latest release correctly point out that the track sequencing suggests a “side one" and “side two," as would an old vinyl album ("the LP of tradition," as Broomer says). The first side is given over to a suite of freely improvised music with echoes (probably unwitting) of various moments in 20th Century classical piano. Side two replaces these with more deliberate jazz echoes as Lossing takes on an idiosyncratic set of standards and near-standards. Lossing has a long list of credits, including most recently the acclaimed trio date As ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russ Lossing: Phrase 6

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Fresh Sound launched its New Talent series in 1995 and has stayed true to its name by recording a stream of New York unknowns, including the debut of the Bad Plus. Continuing this established piano trio pedigree, composer and leader Russ Lossing (a typical jazz “newcomer, having arrived in town in 1986) works with his current trio (featuring bassist John Hebert and drummer Jeff Williams) with the adventurous intrepid sense of spelunkers coursing through a cave. He's heady, but here his thinking is turned to mixing melody with strict forms and linearity with more open and abstract concepts. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russ Lossing: As It Grows

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Spacious, articulate, and artfully composed, the material heard on Russ Lossing's As It Grows --apparently some of it improvised and some composed--is consistently musical and satisfyingly rangy. Although there's a persistent strain of finespun moodiness that isn't for seekers of the heavy groove, there's enough heart-stopping beauty on this disc to make you forget, momentarily, that Keith Jarrett ever existed. This is the music Cecil Taylor might've made if he cared about conventional notions of musical pleasureability. All comparisons aside, this is one of the loveliest jazz documents I've heard in some time. Lossing's own bio claims that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russ Lossing - Adam Kolker - John Hebert: Change of Time

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The respective musicians who comprise this trio inadvertently broaden modern jazz horizons, with this lovely outing inspired by Bela Bartok’s progressive piano pieces. In addition, these gents represent some of the younger and more successful New York based artists who frequently enjoy first call session status. Nonetheless, this production resides within avant/chamber jazz stylizations primarily due to the band’s delicately fabricated and thoroughly melodic treatments. On many of these pieces they abide by a doctrine founded upon intricately devised three-way dialogue and gently rendered ostinato motifs. At times, the music is so fragile; illusions of weightlessness may come to mind. ...



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