3

Russ Lossing: Traces: Two Song Cycles

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Russ Lossing: Traces: Two Song Cycles
There is an HBO television series, A World of Calm, which delivers thirty-minute vignettes on subjects from trees to snowfall to the vastness of the universe. The unhurried series is designed to elicit restfulness while at the same time provoking deep concentration. The same can be said of Traces, a quartet project by pianist Russ Lossing.

Lossing is probably best known as a former sideman to the late drummer Paul Motian, plus he has series of recordings on Sunnyside, SteepleChase and Hat Hut Records (now ezz-thetics). His music is steeped in jazz, blues, and 21st century classical interpretations. He is, if anything, an iconoclast in the best sense of the word, a true innovator. Proof positive is the two song cycles he presents here. The music centers around the poems of two Zen masters, Ryōkan Taigu and Dōgen Zenji, sung by Kyoko Kitamura. She can be heard with Anthony Braxton, on the recording Accelerate Every Voice (Pyroclastic, 2020) by Cory Smythe, and Geometry with Joe Morris, Tomeka Reid, and Taylor Ho Bynum. Lossing's quartet is completed with bassist Mark Helias and bass clarinetist Adam Kolker.

The Zen influence on Lossing, and this project, is evidenced by the minimalist poetry, not quite koans but open-ended enough that the experience of this recording may have listeners contemplating their original face before their mother and father were born. Lossing's compositions and arrangements align with the stark and minimal nature of the poems. The closest connection here might be to the collaboration between saxophonist Steve Lacy and vocalist Irene Aebi. The austere semi-classical music is performed as a sober complement to the words sung. Even the wordless passages seem to convey an introspective message. The poems set to music ask for quiet contemplation, and undoubtedly a bit of self reflection is a valuable commodity in the 21st century.

Track Listing

Orchid; Gone; Traces; Autumn Moon; Echo; Impermanence; True Person; In The Stream; Home; Zazen.

Personnel

Russ Lossing: piano; Kyoko Kitamura: voice / vocals; Adam Kolker: clarinet, bass; Mark Helias: bass.

Album information

Title: Traces: Two Song Cycles | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Aqua Piazza Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

All Figured Out
Derek Brown
Taftalidze Shuffle
Vlatko Stefanovski
Entendre
Nik Bartsch

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.