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Album Review

Dreamstruck: With Grace In Mind

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Dreamstruck: With Grace In Mind
With over one hundred and twenty-five years of gigging and recording between them, one might rightfully argue that pianist Marilyn Crispell, bassist Joe Fonda, and drummer Harvey Sorgen have said, played, performed, and heard everything that needs be said, played, performed, and heard. The argument could continue that the trio— Dreamstruck— have individually and collectively contributed to some of the best by such fellow travelers as Anthony Braxton, Karl Berger, Carla Bley, Archie Shepp, Paul Motian, and Pauline Oliveros. But, as everyone is eager to say these taut, trying days, we are in unprecedented times. Which, by default, makes With Grace In Mind an unprecedented recording.

Which, by its nature, it is. For without interference from the shiny things that distract us—war social media, cable news, celebrity turmoil—With Grace In Mind resolves its moods not with platitudes but with firm, conscious commitments. From the anxious, almost cautionary notes it opens on (the group-composed "A Moment In the Shade") the trio moves with grace—tough, earned, comforting—riding Sorgen's subtle actions through such encompassing moments as Fonda's gracious yet oddly sinister, "We All Make Mistakes" (his solo comes from a warm deep place). "GS#2," especially coming on the heels of Crispell's tranquil reflection "Midnight," (more on that later), that serves like a wake up call to a generation that is leaving the world in far worse shape than they found it and we had better do something the hell about it. Now!

Crispell, even at her freest moments, has a streak of a romantic's classicism that can compell and mesmerize until she has finished her thought. Her animated "Transits," which succeeds the off-kilter title track, is equally as off-kilter, and it leads into "Midnight," a light shining aria if ever one existed. "Gary's Tune," undoubtedly written in tribute to her dear friend the late Gary Peacock, luxuriates in fond recollection as the pianist paints notes to match her memories and drifts off into the slightest hints and breaths of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." A truly unique performance. A truly unique listen.

Track Listing

A Moment in the Shade; For Ornette; MGJ; We All Make Mistakes; Drum(s); With Grace In Mind; Transits; Midnight; GS#2; Speak Up; Gary's Tune.

Personnel

Marilyn Crispell: piano; Joe Fonda: bass, acoustic; Harvey Sorgen: drums.

Album information

Title: With Grace In Mind | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: FSR


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