180

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

By

Sign in to view read count
Paul Motian / Chris Potter / Jason Moran: Lost in a Dream Consider this album a blind date of sorts: Drummer Paul Motian-meets-pianist-Jason Moran, introduced by the matchmaker, saxophonist Chris Potter. Though Motian had worked once with Moran in 2006, this collaboration is a stunning example of the versatility and mastery of Motian's veteran technique. Recorded over a week of concerts at New York City's Village Vanguard, Motian's stomping grounds, this album is held together by the trio's seemingly effortless exploration of slow, melodic ballads. At 79, Motian has proven to be a versatile and thorough player, thriving in any combination of players.

With plenty of elbow room within his compositions, Motian expresses a reserved chaos—just enough beneath the shimmery surfaces of Potter's smooth melodic lines. Evoking Lester Young, Potter often acts as an intermediary between Motian and Moran, a kind of bridge between the latter's subdued, harmonically dense playing and the former's freer cymbal-work. That is not to say that Potter comes off as too slick on this album; on the contrary, his improvisations in both the quieter, more delicate moments, as well as in the louder, raucous instances (such as on "Drum Music") tie the album together, both stylistically and melodically.

The one non-Motian composition is Irving Berlin's "Be Careful It's My Heart," and this ballad fits perfectly with Motian's own; though there is more harmonic movement, Moran handles it in such a way that allows Potter to shine through with free, beautiful, melody. A quick three-minute run-through, this track is a microcosm of the album as a whole.

The track with the highest energy is perhaps "Drum Music," a composition from Motian's 1979 ECM album Le Voyage, showcasing Motian's free style alongside Potter's more harmonically free improvisation. Moran's heavy left hand and Motian's more rhythmic playing on this track synch up in an unexpected way, showing that these players really should get together more often. The next track, "Abacus," also from 1979, features an extended solo by Motian sandwiched between the lead and a da capo repetition, performed smartly with restraint. Small touches—a snare hit here, a Monk-like chord there—elevate this composition to a masterful level, a stacked hand that plays its cards one by one, revealing more and more as it goes on.

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.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: ECM Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read On A Monday Evening CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read Soulmation CD/LP/Track Review Soulmation
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 22, 2017
Read Feather CD/LP/Track Review Feather
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read Lookin' East CD/LP/Track Review Lookin' East
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 22, 2017
Read The Voice of Robert Desnos CD/LP/Track Review The Voice of Robert Desnos
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 22, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Liquid Melodies" CD/LP/Track Review Liquid Melodies
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 21, 2017
Read "Magic Light" CD/LP/Track Review Magic Light
by James Nadal
Published: April 26, 2016
Read "A Night Walking Through Mirrors" CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 20, 2017
Read "More Figs And Blue Things" CD/LP/Track Review More Figs And Blue Things
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Beloved" CD/LP/Track Review Beloved
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 14, 2016
Read "Prairie Burn" CD/LP/Track Review Prairie Burn
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!