For yer actual jazz hack there are times when nothing but the kind of free empathy that comes only with musicians deeply listening to each other will do, as this set has consistently reminded me. Guy has been bearing the standard for this kind of music for decades, so it’s hardly surprising that of the three participants his work is most familiar to me, while the other two are names I’ll definitely be looking out for in the future. Both musicians are steeped in the genre, which ensures nothing is ever overplayed and the accommodations necessary for cooperation are second nature.
They make up a deeply committed trio, so much so in fact that there are passages in Slip, Slide & Rattle where it’s very easy for the mind’s eye to see a level of visual, silent communication going on between them in a piece that has the added bonus of highlighting how as a soprano sax player Snekkestad owes little to anyone in a field that’s hardly under-populated.
On one level Interlude is an exercise in restraint, a point which is underlined by Snekkestad’s understated tenor sax, but the intimations of foreboding made by both Fernandez and Guy suggest something very different, albeit without picking at the music’s overall fabric.
Sway is as close as anything here to an accommodation with the silence, or relative silence, that’s part-and-parcel of many of our lives in these virus-haunted days, and for anyone with the ears this satisfyingly inscrutable set is likely to offer rich rewards.
Both Directions; The Swiftest Traveler; Sway; InSitu; Slip, Slide & Rattle; Dwells; Interlude (44:29)
Torben Snekkestad (ts, ss, cl, t); Agusti Fernandez (p); Barry Guy (b). Cologne, Germany, 16/17 June 2018.