Nowadays, billionaires pay inordinate sums of money to leave Earth's atmosphere aboard rockets, just to float in space. The more modest of us can get the same effect listening to Khimaira by the trio Child Of Illusion. Recorded live in Stockholm, in 2018, this release follows the trio's initial eponymous offering from Clean Feed Records, released the same year. The trio is alto saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos from the United States, Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva who lives in Sweden, and Swedish bassist Torbjorn Zetterberg.
Silva and Zetterberg have collaborated for more than a decade, performing and recording as a duo, in Silva's bands Impermanence, and Life And Other Transient Storms, and in Torbjörn Zetterberg & Den Stora Frågan. Their alliance is reinforced by the addition of Pitsiokos' horn or, maybe better said, Pitsiokos acting as a multiplier. He has developed a unique language for his horn, the best example being found on his solo recording Speak In Tongues And Hope For The Gift Of Interpretation (Relative Pitch, 2020).
The single forty-two-minute improvisation rests upon a humane and unostentatious interplay, with Zetterberg's weighty bass as a defensive bulwark. He is alternately providing pulse and the focal point to this performance. This spurs both trumpet and saxophone to experiment with their forms of alchemy. The entire trio explore the very edges of their instruments with extended technique. The sound fluctuates between quiet tranquility and bits of argy-bargy, none of which is the least bit aggressive. Even the loud sounds very quiet here.