I could fill this entire review with the history of The Deserts Of Truan and why there is a Part III recorded but no Part I or II. But let's simply state that an old, unrecorded project that was a live show got scrapped and David Murray decided to take the best of those ideas, blend in new compositions and record a 24 song Story. With songs lasting from 58 seconds to 3:47, this really is nothing more than a collection of moods that tell some detective story (don't ask me what the detective story is) in the vein of Disney's Tron movie.
That said, I really like this CD. It is not complex, it is not verbose, it is not pretentious, it is simply one soundscape after another that flows amazingly well. David Murray is the drummer and plays several other instruments, but it is truly a fantastic group effort featuring woodwind, strings, guitars, mandolin, bass and other instruments throughout.
The music is jazz and rock tinged, but rarely develops enough depth to do anything but introduce and develop a mood before moving on to the next "chapter". Many songs feature different instruments, from the keyboards of "The Detective & Gary Prepare" to the Violin of "The Court of the BlackMetal Princess" and Ben Wendel's bassoon and saxophone on "Awaiting the Majesty of Extremes".
Part III: The Lilac Moon is recommended for someone looking for interesting compositions, probably to be played as background music. I almost feel bad for saying that, for there is enough here to keep your attention. The ambition of "… story telling through the medium of modern music" should be applauded. What should be noted is that David Murray basically pulls it off. The Deserts Of Traun is fun and entertaining.
1) Awaiting the Majesty of Extremes
2) The Detective in Disguise
3) Report to the Fruitless Kingdom
4) The Detective & Gary Prepare
5) Searching the Swamps
6) The Court of the BlackMetal Princess
7) Escape from the Crystal Caverns
8) Descending the Crystal Mountain
9) The Desert of Träun
10) Greetings from the Lilac Moon
11) Seeking the Navigator
12) Prisoner in the Brig
13) Battle Upon the Space Galleon
14) Awaiting the Sun
15) Sailing the Electrolytic Ocean
16) The Gift of the Whirlpool Vortex
17) Longing & Foreseeing
18) The Uncompromising Blizzard
19) The Cave
20) An Unlikely Visitor
21) Infiltrating the Fortress of Absolute Zero
22) Showdown in the Atrium of Fallacious Foliage
23) Homecoming in the Fruitless Kingdom
24) The Destruction of the Elevator