244

Paul Motian / Chris Potter / Jason Moran: Lost in a Dream

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Paul Motian / Chris Potter / Jason Moran: Lost in a Dream Drummer Paul Motian seems to fit very comfortably into any musical situation, and elevate it. With a career that spans more than five decades—and seeming to begin at an early pinnacle with pianist Bill Evans' trio on the legendary Sunday at the Village Vanguard (Riverside Records, 1961)—Motian has, as a sideman, augmented musical visions galore. A listen no further than his contributions to Bobo Stenson's Goodbye (ECM Records, 2005), Anat Fort's A Long Story (ECM Records, 2007), or Marc Copland's New York Trio Recordings Vol. 1: Voices (Pirouet Records, 2007) provides just a small slice of the magic he has made in his sideman stints during this millennium alone.

Lost in A Dream, recorded live at the Village Vanguard in New York, finds Motian leading a trio featuring pianist Jason Moran and saxophonist Chris Potter. A close comparison can be made between this lineup and that of the drummer's long-standing trio with guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Joe Lovano. Here, the switch of guitar with piano seems to lessen the lighter-than-air shimmer of the ensemble and add more gravity, depth and richness to the sound.

A sense of restraint and contemplation pervades, starting with "Mode VI." Potter's tenor sax cries with an aching beauty, while Moran places spare notes in perfect places on this tune, which sounds like a first cousin to Thelonious Monk's "Ruby My Dear." Motian's drumming is covert—whispers and rustlings, muted splashes, like hearing a pebble dropped into a pond through the muffling effect of a stand of dense foliage.

"Casino" is even more unhurried, Motian and Moran more subtle. Motian is so subdued that probably only ECM Records' crystalline sound could work. The tune is pure poetry, as Moran takes a deep, inward journey on his solo, and Motian paints with faded pastels, watercolors that just hint and sigh about different hues.

The title tune has more momentum, with Motian becoming more a percussionist than painter, supplying a rhythm full of seemingly random, in-the-moment eccentricities that, with a complete lack of predictability, accentuate the work of his band mates.

Irvin Berlin's "Be Careful It's My Heart" is the lone cover on a set of the leader's originals. It injects a brief slice of familiarity to the proceedings, with Potter sounding especially robust in front of some of Moran's busier forays.

"Birdsong" has a dream-like feeling in the beginning, poignant and introspective. Moran's piano is at its most gorgeous here before Potter's sax rises in the direction of anguish and Motian's brushes rasp in soft caresses of the skins. Then they turn up the heat, on "Ten," with Moran and the leader both moving into more percussive modes, Motian rumbling, the piano jumbling into freer territory before Potter wails in on a tremolo.

Paul Motian playing in a trio—where his percussive poetry shines the brightest—is always excellent listening experience, and Lost in a Dream is one of his finest trio affairs. Gorgeous music!

Track Listing: Mode VI; Casino; Lost In A Dream; Blue Midnight; Be Careful It's My Heart; Birdsong; Ten; Drum Music; Abacus; Cathedral Song.

Personnel: Chris Potter: tenor saxophone; Jason Moran: piano; Paul Motian: drums.

Title: Lost In A Dream | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: ECM Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Meeting My Shadow CD/LP/Track Review Meeting My Shadow
by James Nadal
Published: July 22, 2017
Read No Secrets No Lies CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read 50 CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Of Tides" CD/LP/Track Review Of Tides
by John Eyles
Published: March 7, 2017
Read "Invention of Knowledge" CD/LP/Track Review Invention of Knowledge
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 9, 2016
Read "Mount Meander" CD/LP/Track Review Mount Meander
by John Sharpe
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Genesis" CD/LP/Track Review Genesis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "Vitamina D" CD/LP/Track Review Vitamina D
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "Rags And Roots" CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!