Drew Gress is one of the great contemporary bassists and part of the thrill of this CD was the thrill of hearing Jason Moran alongside Gress and Watts. Well, dream on. Typically for ECM the tunes tend towards slow or moderate pace. Only on 'In flight entertainment ' do they get a chance to break out. Trouble is, the recording of the bass is recessed and there is no clear sound of the attack note when the strings are plucked. If it is the miking or mixing i cannot tell. I was continually leaning forward to try and hear the bass but with no success. the other instruments sound fine (if you like the ECM reverb washing around) but the bass is poorly recorded. I have come across this problem before with recordings by James Farber at the New York Avatar studios. Unfortunately, I cannot remember what CDs (probably ECM) but having noticed this before I was alert to the problem. Thus, I have to record my dissatisfaction publically. Any one else out there care to comment?
If obvious structure and melody are your thing then you won't find much of them here I'm afraid. In their place is a highly evolved musical art form that carries the listener subtly and persuasively along paths not readily identifiable in a conventional sense - but replete with spirit, imagination and great, great craft. The interaction between players oscillates from considered and planned to spontaneous and telepathic; the level of musicianship and integrity maintained throughout being the only constant. The results are, to quote the title of an earlier Alessi album, 'cognitive dissonance'. And if you think this well intended review is just so much 'tosh' then almost certainly you'll think the music likewise...!