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Stephan Crump: Reclamation

Mark F. Turner By

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The dialog that began in 2005's Rosetta (Papillon Sounds) continues in Reclamation, as bassist Stephan Crump's Rosetta Trio—including guitarists Liberty Ellman and Jamie Fox—articulates a wealth of ideas. With music that is not easily categorized, the trio's influences are pandemic as Crump states "every bit of music and life that each member of the trio has and ever loved comes through in what we play." This sentiment is the essence of Reclamation.

These sketches of life are visualized in a recording that yields continued surprises. The Americana backdrop of "Memphis" might suggest a kinship to Bill Frisell's Disfarmer (Nonesuch Records, 2009) and its folksy rural persona, but a sharper-edged demeanor is presented in "Silogism," driven by Crump's knottily groove-laden arco, while Ellman plays a staccato riff on acoustic guitar and Fox conjures up weird sounds via some creative string abuse on electric guitar. From the acoustic rock punkishness of "Overreah" to the hippie beach-nik vibe of "Shoes, Jump," the set points to the trio's openness and widespread abilities.

Unison lines form, separate into express solos, and reunite in the pastoral setting of "The Leaves, The Rain." In "Escalateur," the isolation is almost palpable, as Crump's virtuosic bowed string exudes emotion. The Brazilian-influenced "Pernambuo" is another memorable piece; full of gusto, dramatic shifts, and scintillating picking from Ellman and Fox.

The trio's members eschew their individual recordings and sessions and performances with the likes of Vijay Iyer, Henry Threadgill, and Blood, Sweat and Tears to create something that is uniquely their own. Out of a spartan instrumental environment comes music that is refreshingly diverse.

Track Listing: Memphis; Silogism; The Leaves, The Rain; Overreach; Here Not Here; Shoes, Jump; Escalateur; Pernambuco; Toward Fall.

Personnel: Liberty Ellman: acoustic guitar; Jamie Fox: acoustic guitar; Stephan Crump: acoustic bass.

Title: Reclamation | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

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