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Denman Maroney - Scott Walton - Denis Fournier: O Kosmos Meta

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Denman Maroney - Scott Walton - Denis Fournier: O Kosmos Meta
This is a piano trio with a difference. On O Kosmos Meta (Greek for 'the world after'), American pianist Denman Maroney joins with his countryman bassist Scott Walton and French drummer Denis Fournier for a set of nine collective inventions. While there are any number of egalitarian threesomes out there, Maroney's distinctive approach pushes this session beyond the norm.

For the last forty years, Maroney has termed his instrument "hyperpiano." Although still a piano, Maroney plays the keys with one hand while manipulating the strings with the other. This can involve stopping, sliding, bowing, plucking, striking and strumming the innards with copper bars, aluminum bowls, rubber blocks, plastic boxes and all manner of other implements. It produces an array of tones which often introduce metallic whooshes, buzzes and hums among other strange distortions of the instrument's characteristic sonority. Aside from his own leadership dates, Maroney has also partnered bassist Mark Dresser, reedman Ned Rothenberg, violinist Leroy Jenkins and guitarist Hans Tammen among others.

But piano constitutes just one ingredient in this series of self-contained pieces. Since moving to the south of France in 2020, Maroney has renewed acquaintance with Fournier, with whom he recorded an album of spontaneous duets, Intimations (Vent du Sud, 2018), and also hooked up with Walton who features in his quartet on Covid Variations (Not On Label, 2021). Together they call on a range of influences, not only free improvisation, but also contemporary classical and jazz. While the pianist and bassist are well-versed in the last, it is Fournier who pulls strongest in this particular direction as the program progresses. His fragmented tattoos, chattering punctuation and cymbal coloration ensure a kinetic platform for the timbrally adventurous interplay.

Although often percussive, Maroney also displays flashes of lyricism, accentuated at times by Walton who fleetingly diverts from his pizzicato thickets or dark-hued sawing. However such episodes typically proved transitory amid the shifting exchange of textures. The one exception is the lovely delicacy of the final strains of "KM#9" which suggests that, in spite of all the experimentation, the trio still has a place in the legacy begun by Bill Evans. Like a cubist painting which offers multiple viewpoints of everyday objects, the group offer an unusual take on the hoary piano trio.

Track Listing

KM #1; KM #2; KM #3; KM #4; KM #5; KM #6; KM #7; KM #8; KM #9.

Personnel

Album information

Title: O Kosmos Meta | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Rogueart


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