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The triolaunched in 1986comprises three legendary maestros of progressive jazz and improvisation. Customarily, the band augments its line of attack with a guest pianist. Here, Jason Moran upholds the tradition and plays an integral role, augmenting the core unit's reach into pieces fabricated with kaleidoscopic formations and variegated hues, spanning a myriad of seamlessly integrated jazz-related mosaics. Essentially, nothing seems out-of-scope for these gents.
At 11-minutes, bassist Reggie Workman's "Summit Conference" is the lengthiest piece on the album. They straddle the avant spectrum as alto saxophonist Oliver Lake's resounding phraseology, stewed with popping notes and drummer Andrew Cyrille's massive press rolls morph into a pressurized sequence of free-bop choruses and flourishing improvisational tactics. Cyrille and Workman seed a flexible underpinning for the soloists.
Moran's cascading chords and gyrating runs generate a spiraling liftoff as Workman's arco passage intersects and generates a shadowy rumination during the bridge. However, Cyrille's solo provides further evidence of his lyrical and poetic approach, peppered with slapping rim-shots and resonating tom rolls, he directs the trio back to the embryonic motif amid a hard-hitting wrap-up. Once again, the musicians aim their sights high, hit the bulls-eye, and meet our lofty expectations.
Track Listing: Refraction – Breakin' Glass; Cycle III; Luthers Lament; AM 2 1/2; Summit Conference; All Decks; Listen; Vamp; Foot Under Foot; High Priest.
Personnel: Oliver Lake: alto and sopranino saxophone, voice; Reggie Workman: bass; Andrew Cyrille: drums, voice; Jason Moran: piano.