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Trumpeter Paul Smoker has taken a front seat in the vast wave of progressive jazz, thanks to co-led dates, numerous sessions, and his affiliation with the fine Fonda - Stevens modern jazz group. On this 2001 release, the trumpeter staffs a drummer-less trio that pursues an amalgamation of motifs based upon extended improvisational frameworks.
Smoker projects raspy slurs and liquefied lines atop guitarist Steve Salerno's burgeoning, ostinato groove on "Open Season." Here and throughout, the band cranks out a jazz-rock flavor tinged with freestyle dialogue and cool, sleek, Bop-ish maneuvers. With the fifteen-minute opus "See How They Run," the artists explore a myriad of themes, laced with rumbling crosscurrents and edgy call and response exchanges. Later, they take a well-deserved breather during the delicately articulated ballad "The Meaning Of The Blues."
Smoker and associates embark upon a series of linear movements, enhanced by implied rhythms and some rebel-rousing interplay. Recommended.