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Paul Hartsaw / Andrew Young/ Jerome Bryerton: Matter & Memory

Mark Corroto By

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Improvising trios come and go. When a special session is documented, it focuses attention, clears the mind, and opens pathways to a happening. That is exactly what Matter & Memory accomplishes as an improvised session.

Recorded in 2007, this trio of saxophonist Paul Hartsaw, bassist Andrew Young, and percussionist Jerome Bryerton executes these eight impromptu pieces as if they have been preparing each track for years.

Organized by Hartsaw, his previous work has been with the various ensembles he has directed, including the Paul Hartsaw Tentet with Jeb Bishop, Dave Rempis, and Jim Baker, his collaborations with non-jazzers in Desiring Machines, and his quartet.

The trio's collaboration is just that, a sympathetic alliance. This recording is very much in the European tradition of improvised jazz. Hartsaw's playing often resembles that of Evan Parker, an unhurried casting of notes that can flow from rapid thoughts or duck and dive, accenting pieces and part of the trio's presentation.

Absent is the push and pull of an improvised tussle. The trio produces spontaneously, but is of one mind. The music unfurls and drives forward like an approaching forest fire on "A Space Which We Divide Indefinitely," Its passion and intensity ablaze—churning and consuming all the energy in the listening space.

Elsewhere, that intensity is exchanged for a serious exploration of the pauses between sounds. Hartsaw pokes and prods amid Young's bow work and Bryerton's cymbal reconnoitering. Led and then leaderless, this trio follows a path that is somehow understood between themselves, making for a solid and coherent listening experience.

Track Listing: A Space Which We Divide Indefinitely; Successive And Juxtaposed; Extensity; Motionless On The Surface, It Its Very Depth It Lives And Vibrates; Matter & Memory; Assemblage Of Circumstances; To Sever The Bonds Between Remembrance And The Present Reality; Mysterious Correspondence.

Personnel: Paul Hartsaw: tenor saxophone; Andrew Young: bass; Jerome Bryerton: percussion.

Title: Matter & Memory | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Metastablesound

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