DownBeat March 2021

In 2019, the pianist honored the ever-ad- venturous late drummer with Motian Music and again pays tribute to him on Metamorphism’s title track with interval- lic layers of sound. Here, and throughout the album, Lossing’s longtime ensemble of fre- quent collaborators—saxophonist Loren Stillman, bassist John Hébert and drum- mer Michael Sarin—is completely attuned to the bandleader’s compositional vision, free- ing each performer to take their own flights of fancy. On the opener, “Three Treasures,” Lossing telegraphs an urgent message with keyboard triplets, echoed and amplified by Stillman’s horn, setting the tone for a call and response among players who trust each other implic- itly. From “Mai’s” evocation of smoky late- night blues, caressed by Hébert’s languid bass, to the peck-peck-pecking of Sarin’s drums on “Pileatus” and the wideopen space of “Blind Horizon (For Andrew Hill),” a contempla- tive tribute to the late pianist and composer, Metamorphism reveals a series of worlds lit from within by Lossing’s singular playing and composing styles.  —Cree McCree Metamorphism: Three Treasures; Sojourn;Metamorphism(For PaulMotian);Mai; Pileatus; BlindHorizon (For AndrewHill); June Jig; Canto24. (68:16) Personnel: Russ Lossing, piano; LorenStillman, alto saxophone;

Russ Lossing Metamorphism SUNNYSIDE 1607 HHHH

Don Braden/Joris Teepe Quartet InThe Spirit Of Herbie Hancock O.A.P 2020 HHHH 1/2

Composer and improvisor Russ Lossing arrived on the New York scene during the early ’80s, when he studiedwith JohnCage and became a pivotal member of the Paul Motian Quintet during a 12-year stint marked by weeklong residencies at the Village Vanguard. With the release of Metamorphism , Lossing shines as brightly as any of the jazz pioneers who preceded him in mapping out their own musical journeys.

A followup to their 2017 outing Conversations , this live 2019 concert recording from The Netherlands features longtime musical part- ners Don Braden and Joris Teepe, accompanied by Dutch pianist Rob Van Bavel and American- born drummer Owen Hart Jr. Van Bavel, a vet- eran of the European jazz scene, should be a rev- elation to Stateside jazz fans. His gifts become immediately apparent on the opener, a relaxed “Maiden Voyage” that finds the pianist flaunting chops and exploring with impunity on his solo. Braden’s bold-toned tenor solo is unrestrained and delightful here, though onemisses the origi- nal version’s trumpet harmony. Teepe also deliv- ers a virtuosic bass solo, while Hart exhibits a looseness and penchant for melodicism on the kit, buoying the proceedings. Teepe’s brisk reimagining of “Watermelon Man”—full of reharmonization and intricate stop-time breaks—is fueled by Hart’s driving sense of swing and interactive abandon. Van Bavel is funky here, while also pushing the har- monic envelope during the spirited workout as he slyly alludes to “Giant Steps” in his solo. The ensemble handles “Actual Proof” like a lush ballad and features some remarkably expressive playing by Braden. The quartet’s mel- low rendition of “Butterfly” showcases Braden’s flute playing, then Van Bavel’s extended gospel flavored solo piano intro to “Driftin’” sets the tone for a 3/4 recreation of the soul-jazz clas- sic. Teepe’s “Role Model” and Braden’s “The Ingenious Catalyst” also are firmly in the spirit of the album’s namesake.  —Bill Milkowski In The Spirit Of Herbie Hancock: MaidenVoyage;Watermel- onMan; Actual Proof; Speak LikeAChild; The Ingenious Catalyst; RoleModel; Butterfly; Driftin’; Yesterdays. (67:32) Personnel: DonBraden, tenor saxophone, flute; Joris Teepe, bass; RobVanBavel, piano; OwenHart Jr., drums. Ordering info:

JohnHébert, bass;Michael Sarin, drums. Ordering info:

Tania Giannouli Trio In Fading Light RATTLE D105 HHH

During the past decade, introspective Greek pia- nist Tania Giannouli regularly has experiment- ed with different instrumental settings, radical- ly changing the timbre and tone of her music without altering its charged air of mystery. On one recording, she played intimate duos with Portuguese reedist Paulo Chagas, while anoth- er was a trio with New Zealand taonga pūoro—a traditional Maori wind instrument—player Rob Thorne. She continues the practice on In Fading Light with a trio formed to play at Jazzfest Berlin in 2018. On most of the 12 pieces, Giannouli and oudist Kyriakos Tapakis carve outmoody ostina- to patterns—delicately embroidered with pretty melodies—that clear space for the drifty explora- tions of trumpeter Andreas Polyzogopoulos. On “Labyrinth,” ameasured piano line cycles meditatively as the oud freely casts about before falling into shadowing accents, giving a wide berth to the trumpeter’s smears, unpitched breaths and floating phrases. “When Then” reframes the plot with an aggressive, driv- ing attack, as a hammering left-handed piano line intertwines with a twangy oud lick, propel- ling Polyzogopoulos toward a sharper tone and phrases that slash, rather than glide. The folkish

“Hinemoa’s Lament” lies somewhere in between. But there are pieces that depart from that form: the elliptical “Fallen,” when all of the musicians impart silence magnificently; the more abstract improvisational gambits of “Disquiet”; or the high-speed, Hungarian-flavored “Bela’s Dance.” The players reveal a strong collective rapport across the album, and every gesture and phrase seems generous and empathic. But the pervasive moodiness can feel like a damper on what might have been accomplishedwith amore varied emo- tional palette.  —Peter Margasak In Fading Light: Labyrinth;WhenThen; Hinemoa’s Lament; Night Flight; Fallen; Bela’sDance; Ingravida;Moth; NoCorner; Disquiet; InlandSea; InFading Light. (60:25) Personnel: TaniaGiannouli, piano; Andreas Polyzogopoulos,

trumpet; Kyriakos Tapakis, oud. Ordering info:


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