Aurora / Peter Erskine


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This trio outing signifies a little-known gem that stands among the top modern jazz releases of 1989, as well-traveled drummer Peter Erskine wields his mighty chops while also serving as the traffic director for bassist Buell Neidlinger and saxophonist Marty Krystall. The opening number, "Daddy Trane & Cousin Wayne," is a wondrous piece, marked by Krystall's tunefully melodic choruses atop the rhythm section's slowly enacted jazz waltz pulse. Here and throughout, the band infuses soul-drenched modern jazz motifs with airy and somewhat open-ended three-way dialogues. They incorporate a few well-placed twists and turns into the grand mix, featuring effervescent swing vamps and subtle tonal contrasts amid their stringent attention to detail. The trio's clever outlook is starkly evident during its calypso-soul-blues yet predominantly free jazz rendition of Albert Ayler's "Ghosts," while they mesh a quaint Texas roadhouse blues motif with modern jazz-type dialogue on the piece titled "Like Latin." A super fine outing indeed, and strongly recommended.

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