“…interesting display of some true modern jazz masters at work.”
This is a strong and vibrant pairing of American vibraphonist Mainieri with three European musicians for a meeting that brings together a modern impressionistic sensibility with good old fashioned bebop.
The date begins with the simply titled “Piece.” This intrepid tune is fueled by a deceptively simple bass hook that anchors the entire composition, allowing for a simultaneous ebb and flow of established melody and full-on experimentation to take place. “My Good Leg” recalls Mainieri’s tenure with Steps Ahead as he gracefully addresses the vibes supported by a funky yet swinging rhythm section. A take on a traditional Indian children’s song “Kannada” is an interesting departure in the program as Busstra approaches the melody on bouzouki. “Don’t Break Step” ushers in a traditional bebop element, with a brisk and somewhat angular unison head by Busstra and Mainieri. “Strega” brings in another flavor again that is darkly cool and a tad film noir. “It’s Done” is a somber and serene piece that is beautifully played by Busstra. And “Lost in Little Spain” concludes the first set/disc with a raga-like drone that sets the pace for a Scofield/Stern inspired piece.
The second set/disc continues the festivities in a cool and relaxed manner. There is an urbane feel to the opening of their performance here that is an inventive balance of ambience and the blues. Mainieri’s “All in a Row” seems like somewhat of a musical exercise but remains playful, with its odd and angular melody. The title track ” Trinary Motion” is another Mainieri composition, with very inspired phrasing and inventive ideas. The vibist really steps out floating on a sea of strong rhythm and tasteful comping from Busstra. Marnix Busstra’s acoustic guitar resolves the night on “Square Brown/From Father to Friend” providing an intriguing blend of folk and swing. This two disc set is an incredible package and offers a really interesting and engaging display of some true modern jazz masters at work. – By Eric Harabadian