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Whirlpool: This World and One More (2013)

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Whirlpool: This World and One More How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The collaborative Chicagoan trio Whirlpool
Whirlpool
Whirlpool

band/orchestra
aims to eliminate the boundaries between composition and improvisation. Its musicians—alto saxophonist Caroline Davis
Caroline Davis
Caroline Davis
b.1979
vocalist
, also a vocalist who performs world music, hip-hop and folk-Americana; drummer Charles Rumback
Charles Rumback
b.1980
drums
, a member of Colorist and collaborator of cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm
Fred Lonberg-Holm
Fred Lonberg-Holm
b.1962
cello
and guitarist Jeff Swanson- -are versatile musicians, leaders of their own outfits.

The nine pieces on the trio's debut recording feature clear and constant emphasis on form and a strong melodic core as the basis for the improvised parts. Still, none of these pieces follows conventional forms in terms of rhythm or structure. The interplay is open, patient and emphatic, demanding equal contributions from the three musicians.

There are few exceptions in the calm interplay of the trio. "Dragons in Denver," shifts between tense and intense passages, alternating rhythmic concepts and spare parts. On the touching "whirlpool" Davis leads the trio, telling an emotional story, supported with subtle touches of Swanson and Rumback. Swanson and Davis charge the trio with unusual swinging energy on "Spark" and the reserved and nuanced cymbal work of Rumback dictates the soft atmosphere of the ballad "Herb and Dolores." The last piece, "That Day," suggests a cinematic narrative with its dramatic shifts of spirit and energy.

Whirlpool is a promising trio with its own sound. Still, it sounds as if it would benefit from more open and energetic interplay.

Track Listing: Freedom Waves Flotilla; Dreamliner; Raysh and Jonah; Dragons in Denver; Whirlpool; Spark; Herb and Dolores; K-150; That Day.

Personnel: Caroline Davis: alto saxophone; Charles Rumback: drums; Jeff Swanson: guitar.

Record Label: ears&eyes Records

Style: Modern Jazz


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