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On the spot improvisation can get its comeuppance in a live concert: musicians can let their instinct tell them when they have said enough, or they can choose to ignore it and carry on. There are some long tracks here, but it is to the credit of this trio that they keep interest at the high end almost all through the way. (There is a far too abstract an air when there’s “Sunshine In Sexial.” Besides, it’s dank and dark.)
This apart, the band shows an unerring instinct for mind-link. From that intuition ideas germinate, are developed and passed on. This becomes articulate communion where rhythm, melody and emotional impulse are distinctly manifested. The tune “For José Saramago” sprouts from a melodic line on the arco from bassist Ken Filiano. The exposition is at first deliberate, with trombonist Steve Swell coming in for a melange of bent notes, smears and looping lines. As tension is drawn taut by the two, Lou Grassi swishes in on the brushes, Swell brings in a touch of the blues, then in comes a waft of swing and an altogether different tangent.
Filiano and Grassi turn in a hypnotic spell when they do the “Dance Of The Expatriates,” the former building the momentum in slow modulation. When Swell comes in on the muted trombone with flinty lines, the impact is gripping. Amado and Curado aid and abet “Avant Fado Meeting.” The music dances on the soprano and the baritone but is taken into a different dimension by the stop time and the short jabs and punctuations between the three horns. Amália Rodriguez would not have approved of the fado being unravelled in serrated lines, but give it to the band: they do add an interesting adjunct.
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.