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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Lost in a Dream

ECM Records 273 2132



1. Mode VI
2. Casino
3. Lost in a Dream
4. Blue Midnight
5. Be Careful It's My Heart
6. Birdsong
7. Ten
8. Drum Music
9. Abacus
10. Cathedral Song

Chris Potter - Tenor sax
Jason Moran - Piano
Paul Motian - Drums


It was some 49 years ago at a 1961 Village Vanguard session when Paul Motian, then a relatively unheralded drummer, was catapulted into jazz prominence as part of the Bill Evans Trio's seminal recording Sunday at the Village Vanguard. Over the intervening years, Motian has become a highly-regarded composer and band-leader with an eclectic taste in musical styles and groups.

This album which was also recorded at the Village Vanguard in 2009 brings Motian together with two young musicians who are clearly at home interpreting his compositions which comprise nine of the ten pieces on this disc, the exception being Irving Berlin's tune Be Careful It's My Heart. Berlin, however, would be hard pressed to identify the intense version that is proffered here.

The structure of the album is primarily the ballad form offering each musician the opportunity to provide a decidedly abstract rendition of the music. There is, of course, a high degree of compatibility among the musicians. With the newer compositions such as Mode V1, Chris Potter's tenor sax provides some luscious phrasing supported by Motian's hushed dynamics, in Casino where Jason Moran delivers an introspective solo, and collectively in Blue Midnight where the band members tender cerebral and complex performances. In the title tune, Lost In A Dream, Motian develops a percussive approach that is short on obviousness and thus leaves the other members of the group plenty of space to fill in their own ideas. Some of the other pieces of music on this disc have been recorded previously by Motian including Birdsong from the album Tati; however here Moran has a stunning solo and Motian's brushes whisper support. Drum Music and Abacus also appeared on the album Le Voyage.

Whether old or new, Motian has penned compositions which are reflective of his post-bop, avant-garde style and capture a melodic assertion of his musical development. Motian has evolved into the ideal trio drummer and this disc further confirms this ascension.

Pierre Giroux

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