Paul Murphy managed one-time John Coltrane drummer Rashied Ali's New York City club known as Ali's Alley. In addition, Murphy's drumming partly draws upon Ali's dynamism. With this release, Murphy steers a trio featuring longtime associates pianist Joel Futterman and cellist Kash Killion. To put it mildly, the band moves forward with the power of a rumbling freight train here. On works such as "Desert Fire," Killion augments the heated proceedings with rapidly executed arco passages amid a rather foreboding soundscape, with the trio's clarity of ideas hitting the mark in dynamic fashion. The band's synergistic approach consists of massive sheets of sound and sweeping undercurrents, as the musicians navigate a plethora of peaks, valleys, and swirling cadenzas. Needless to say, they spur each other through heated moments to complement a few sanguine interludes. Murphy shines radiantly thanks to his relentless attack, awash with tumbling, polyrhythmic-type fills and stinging press rolls. The group engages a modus operandi that is founded upon maddening flurries and verbose exchanges. And despite the rather serious implications, this is a fun-filled affair. Recommended.
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