Christopher Adler

Transcontinental

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Recorded at Los Angeles Harbor College on January 27, 2001, this album first came out as a self-released CD under the title Live in Los Angeles in 2001, before getting picked up and more widely released by Nine Winds the next year. It documents a strong performance by Christopher Adler (piano), Alan Lechusza (saxes and flutes), and Vikas Srivastava (drums), definitely worth listening to. The first of three long improvisations, "Aloft" starts off almost classical-like, with Adler (a classically trained pianist) developing flourishes of chords. In the course of its 26 minutes, things escalate to a boiling point, but this chaos and energy crescendo is stretched over too much time to grasp your attention. If testosterone-driven improv is your thing, then you will find the closing title track much more satisfactory. Lechusza blows a mean baritone sax while Srivastava builds a wall of cymbals and Adler simply goes nuts, hammering as many keys he can with one stroke of the fist. Things quiet down for the last ten minutes. Adler plays ripples of chords to accompany Lechusza's solo and takes listeners in a reverse repeat of the first number. The second piece, "Akash," focuses on quietness and beauty, Lechusza leading the way on flute. A good album, surprisingly listener-friendly thanks to Srivastava's propensity to keep rhythm and Adler's lush, awkwardly majestic playing, Transcontinental makes for an enjoyable, unusual listen.

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