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on 11 November 2008
Bought this CD after reading a review in Jazzwise Magazine.
Best CD i have bought this year, i cant stop listening to it.
At times exhilarating, at times so relaxing i have warm feel all over.
Never dull and for jazz sceptics it is certainly not dinner jazz.
thanks jazzwise for a great tip.
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on 19 January 2012
Despite the ecstatic appreciation from the critics, this has slipped under the radar of many with only two (very enthusiastic) reviews to date. It takes something special for a trio of sax, bass and drums to prosper but what is staggering is how symphonic is the four-part Independence suite, not only in conception but in sound. Smith's rich sax is the key ingredient but Andersen's supple bass, rhythmic, melodic and atmospheric in turns and Vinaccia's restless, inventive percussion and equal partners in the three-way dialogue. "Independence", written to commemorate Norway's independence from Sweden, can hold itself favourably with, say, Coltrane's "Transition" or the finest of Mingus's writing.

The three remaining tracks are still well worth a listen but suffer slightly in comparison. The cover of Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss" is tender, reminding me initially of Debussy's "Prelude de L'Apres Midi d'un Faune", and the concluding originals "Outhouse" and "Dreamhorse" restless and energetic in the first case and lovingly lyrical in the latter.

Overall, this is the ideal answer to anyone convinced that there is nowhere left for (predominantly) acoustic jazz, especially from a piano-less trio and a compelling listen for anyone with more than a passing interest in this area.
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on 16 November 2008
Living here in California and knowing this live concert recording would not be on sale until Nov. 25th, I ordered from the [always reliable] Amazon.UK. I'm a nut for live material, especially in the jazz idiom and realize that ECM seldom (if ever) releases a shoddily recorded live set.

This recording is superb! I only received it yesterday, so I have only listened on headphones and can't state that the concert atmosphere ambiance will duplicate as well on my 10-speaker rig. But musically there are no grounds for disappointment. Each member of the trio blends into a cohesive whole and the tonal balance is perfect!
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