Pianist Cathlene Pineda has a classical background which is reflected in the lyrical music her quartet creates on this disc. Her compositions here came out of a four-year period during which she became a mother for the first time, suffered two miscarriages and finally gave birth to a second child. The resulting work has a calm, introspective charm.
The gentle flow of Pineda's piano mixes well with Kris Tiner's expressive trumpet playing on pieces such as the lyrical "1Nine" and the deliriously rushing "Wonder Weeks." On "Weeks," the swaying dance of piano and trumpet is enhanced by Tina Raymond's rattling drums which underscore the band's movement as Paul Motian did in Keith Jarrett's quartet. "Milo," written about the leader's first child, starts out with Tiner drifting plaintively over halting piano. Then the music becomes faster and more intense, as the trumpet runs up and down over repeated piano chords. "Wild Geese II" moves with flowing grace as Pineda's sound conveys the feel of slowly flapping wings. David Tranchina's bass gives eloquent support, the drums roll and the trumpet sharply arcs and moans. "Wild Geese IV" continues this at a brisker pace with Tiner's smeary acrobatics pushed up front.
"Rainbow Baby" is piano impressionism with a Bach-like formality decorated by cymbals and muted trumpet. On "Carriers I" Pineda and Tiner make small, thoughtful gestures over fluttery brushwork and quiet bass notes, a mood contrasted by the quicker time and staccato trumpet on "Carriers II." Here Tiner powers through with urgency, and Pineda whirls into sparkling light-fingered jazz soloing. On "The Collective Memory" the music takes on the personality of Steve Reich's minimalist works as piano, bass and drums run in place, repeating phrases over and over, leaving Tiner to exuberantly vault over the slowly shifting rhythms.
This music combines restraint with bursts of passion, in warm and joyous fashion. Cathlene Pineda lays down elegant and precise foundations on piano while Kris Tiner gives her work a free-wheeling soul and the rhythm section gives it weight and depth. The end result is music of strong but quiet emotion and beauty.
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