Michael Cain

Circa

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Pianist Michael Cain teams up with trumpeter Ralph Alessi and soprano saxophonist Peter Epstein for some unusual trio performances on this ECM CD. The 11 group originals (by Cain and/or Alessi) alternate complex written-out sections with fairly free group improvising. Epstein's soprano and Alessi's trumpet blend together almost as if they were one person playing two horns simultaneously, while Cain's rumbling keeps the music from ever getting too tonal or comfortable. Ranging from what sounds like chamber music (it is often difficult to determine when the musicians are improvising) to stretched-out long tones and heated sections, this episodic and continually intriguing music is never predictable and rewards repeated listenings.

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