One might think that adding a pianist to the equation would shake up the order enough that the longstanding group aesthetic is turned on its head. However, Trio 3 is an open enough group that the addition of a strong fourth personality shifts the dynamic rather than changing it. Two new recordings add, alternately, Geri Allenand Irene Schweizer to the proceedings. Allen has, in fact, become a regular participant, first joining the trio in 2008. On At This Time, her first recording with Trio 3, the fit is clear.
Swiss pianist Irene Schweizer worked with Cyrille in the latter half of the '80s, but Berne Concert is their first recording together in a full-band context. Though certainly both Schweizer and Allen have an affinity for Paul Bley, not to mention commanding the range of textures available both inside and outside the piano, they are more different than similar. Schweizer is a volcanic player whose motives have a painterly cast and rhythmic cells that, while recalling Cecil Taylor, are rougher and more impulsive. There's almost a clash of voices in Lake's composition "Flow" that opens the sether rhythmic approach seems contradictory to the saxophonist's squirrely bebop, an epic command of the keyboard's breadth in rapid, thick gestures. Cyrille and Workman seem much more comfortable in this case, the drummer dissecting her phrases while maintaining extraordinary plasticity.
Unlike At This Time, Berne Concert presents duos and trios as well as the quarteta piano-bass duet begins with tentative rumbling and delicate, tart chordal voicings as Schweizer follows Workman's pliant solemnity with gradually increasing drive. On "Timbral Interplay," a woven, minimal carpet of mallets and toms gives support to the pianist's contrasting network of phrase-rhythms, evidence of the rapport between Schweizer and Cyrille. Though a bit disjointed at times, Berne Concert presents four of the music's most creative figures going for brokethe result is tremendously exciting, even if not always successful.
Tracks and Personnel
At This Time
Tracks: Swamini; Gazzeloni; For Patrik L.; All Net; Current; Lake's Jump; Long Melody; Tey; Barbara's Rainbow; In the Realm... of the Child... of True Humanity Within (Gospel of Mary).
Personnel: Geri Allen: piano and voice; Oliver Lake: alto and soprano saxophones, flute; Reggie Workman: bass; Andrew Cyrille: drums.
Tracks: Flow; R.I. Exchange 1; Aubade; Phrases; Ballad of the Silf; Timbral Interplay; WSLC.
Personnel: Irene Schweizer: piano; Oliver Lake: alto saxophone; Reggie Workman: bass; Andrew Cyrille: drums.
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