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Motian/Potter/Moran: Lost in a Dream

Lost in a Dream is the wonderful new live album from the jazz trio of drummer Paul Motian, pianist Jason Moran, and sax player Chris Potter, recorded during a week stay at the Village Vanguard in New York City in February of 2009. The tracks here are all Motian originals, save for one cover, their take on Irving Berlin's "Be Careful It's My Heart". All three of these seasoned players have performed with some of the best that jazz has to offer, including Thelonius Monk, Dave Holland, Paul Bley, Keith Jarrett, and others, and together they take all that experience and create plenty of magic together.

Motian's light, rhythmic touch propels pieces such as "Casino", "Mode VI", and the engaging title track, letting Potter burst through the mix with his sultry tone, while Moran's elegant piano lines are always present, whether taking a melodic solo spot or working alongside Motian and laying down the rhythm, much like a bassist would normally do. The lazy "Birdsong" is a gorgeous piece, featuring emotional melodies from Moran, while the complex "Ten" sees the trio weaving intricate lines around each other for some breathtaking interplay. Motian gets to really strut his stuff during the wild "Drum Music" alongside the squonking sax bursts from Potter and the jagged free-jazz explorations from Moran's piano. The classy "Abacus" also features the drummer in an intense solo spot (this guy COOKS ladies and gentleman!), and this live set concludes with the smooth, smokey sounds of "Cathedral Song".

Live jazz albums don't get much better than this. Though neither Motian, Potter, or Moran are household names outside of the loyal jazz scene, their performances here should put them on the lips of anyone who has a passing interest in the genre.

ECM Records has done it again!

Track Listing
1. Mode VI 5:09
2. Casino 8:05
3. Lost In A Dream 6:39
4. Blue Midnight 6:09
5. Be Careful It's My Heart 2:58
6. Bird Song 6:52
7. Ten 4:30
8. Drum Music 6:07
9. Abacus 4:25
10. Cathedral Song 6:29

Added: April 15th 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: ECM Records
Hits: 2309
Language: english

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Motian/Potter/Moran: Lost in a Dream
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-04-16 00:49:15
My Score:

Paul Motian is a legendary jazz drummer having been involved with the famous Bill Evan's Trio and Keith Jarrett's American Quartet. On the recently released CD Lost In A Dream he is teamed with saxophonist Chris Potter, who has played with Motian in the Electric Bebop Band and Trio 2000 and pianist Jason Moran who has also worked with Motian in a project headed by violinist Jenny Scheinman. Lost In A Dream was recorded live at New York City's famed Village Vanguard in 2009.

With only piano, saxophone and drums, the music on Lost In A Dream is quite sparse but no less riveting than if this was a full band. You may have noticed the lack of a bass player so it should be of no surprise the music follows a more balladic approach. Very soft gently flowing jazz is what you can expect and not one note is wasted, although there are moments when the trio does let loose as the band can really heat things up a notch or two demonstrating these guys can really cook when they want to. All songs are Motian originals except for the Irving Berlin classic "Be Careful It's My Heart".

Smooth sultry saxophone and a light dusting of drums and piano are featured in the album opener "Mode VI". Stark piano, delicate drum strokes and deep rich notes of sax highlight the gentle "Casino" and the title track features Motian's deft touch on the cymbals along with beautifully played saxophone and piano. Other highlights include the restrained bedlam of "Ten" and the wild "Drum Music" where improvisation scratches the surface as the band throws their subtle approach out the window playing with controlled abandon. The album ends with the fragile beauty that is "Cathedral Song", a song steeped in delicate notes and soothing instrumental play.

There is a cohesion between these three musicians making this a wonderful collection of tunes. In a nutshell an essential purchase for all jazz fans.

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