Cosmosamatics

Three

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On their third studio outing, the Cosmosamatics have pared down their lineup to their founding three members -- saxophonists Sonny Simmons and Michael Marcus and drummer Jay Rosen. Simmons plays alto and English horn, while Marcus plays baritone and saxello. And, though it may seem this would be a freewheeling blowing date, there is a lot more to it than that. The plentiful hard bop and post-bop considerations aside, there is a lot more responsibility for cohesive musical statements without a bassist to anchor things, and Rosen is more than up to the task of keeping the flow constant and focused. Beginning with the swinging "Futura," which digs deep into the blues to open the set, it's obvious that lyricism will become the glue for the individual elements to bind themselves to. "Bring On the Funk" starts in the groove and Rosen never loses it, but Simmons' solo moves off the path and into the stratosphere with a gorgeous, knotty exploration of the lower register of his alto. "Avant Garde Destruct" is a blowing exercise, but with all of the requisite humor in the title revealed in the tune. The cover of "'Round Midnight," led by Simmons' alto, is remarkable for its stark elegance and the economy of its language. In all, this might be the best of the Cosmosamatics' outings yet.

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