Extended: Harbinger


Pianist Oscar Rossignoli is from Honduras, bassist Matt Booth from Pittsburgh and drummer Brad Webb from Louisiana; all are now resident in New Orleans, where this set was recorded. All three contribute their own compositions but remain fully aware of the others’ musical personalities so that a collective group identity soon emerges.

It is a strong identity, based on Rossignoli’s rolling, often ebullient piano with trademark flourishes, Booth’s strong pizzicato skills, and Webb’s flawless drumming. Rossignoli’s title track is all cool groove and fleet soloing, Booth’s Sweet Teeth a tricky stop-start opener while his Nepotism slowly unrolls its ominous theme.

Best of all are the three concluding tracks, where the group slows down and opens out each tune, allowing you to hear each individual contribution properly, notably Webb’s intricate drumming. Loft Space ends the set on an airy high.

In a way it is unnecessary to highlight individual tracks, for this is a coherent whole of considerable strength. The press release mentions EST and states that this music is “rooted firmly in the musical soil of their adopted hometown”. Well, I hear neither influence, rather a modernist sensibility and musical intelligence that is a delight to listen to.

Sweet Teeth; Harbinger; Handwritten Letters; Nepotism; Words That Begin With Seven; Secrets; Connie; Some Are Some; When The Internet Breaks; Loft Spaces (61.28)
Oscar Rossignoli (p); Matt Booth (b); Brad Webb (d). New Orleans, 1–2 August 2018.
OA2 Records OA2 22171