The three develop their solos and interactions from themes built on folk simplicity in Leadbelly" and Totem," instrumental chanting in Practical Sampling" and serene trumpet layered over guitar distortions and raucous drum and cymbal patterns in Please Help, Please Give." The album's opening How it Goes" begins with trumpet/clarinet counterpoint that could be Knuffke reflecting on Shorty Rogers and Jimmy Giuffre circa 1954, however unlikely that may seem. It ends with lyricism, Knuffke and Wieselman giving sotto voce unison farewell to the delicate melody of Anne." The unusual name of the album's title tune? It memorializes one of Knuffke's great-grandfathers, who claimed that he forgot he had a wife and family after he established a second set in another town and changed his name. The piece has a nostalgic, even old-timey, quality and a certain goofiness in the solos that is underlain with a Wollesen percussive effect like rapid water over loose stones.
In a development that may be an indication of growing maturity in free jazz, the longest track runs less than five minutes. Perhaps, after all, full expression doesn't require extraordinary length. One thinks of Miles Davis's celebrated advice to John Coltrane when Coltrane explained that he had trouble stopping his solos; You might try taking the horn out of your mouth." These guys do, and it works.
For the past six months or so, Knuffke has been a member of Matt Wilson's quintet. For a Rifftides review of one that band's performances shortly after he joined, go here.