For Tatsu Aoki, a memorable night came on March 29, 1997, when he co-led the Power Trio with Mwata Bowden and Afifi Phillard and gave a concert at the Unity Temple in Oak Park, IL (a suburb of Chicago). All three improvisers were Chicago residents who had close ties to Chicago's AACM -- Bowden, in fact, was the AACM's former chairman -- and they shared a lot of common ground musically. With Aoki on upright bass, Bowden on woodwinds, and Phillard on drums, the cohesive, risk-taking threesome provides inside/outside music that has AACM written all over it. Ever since Roscoe Mitchell's groundbreaking Sound album of 1966, the AACM had been known for reflective avant-garde explorations that favored space instead of density -- and that approach serves the Power Trio well on pieces ranging from the eerie "On Time" to the bluesy "Meant to Be" and the probing "Our World." Those who appreciate the Windy City school of avant-garde jazz will find a lot to admire about this CD.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson