Mauger (Mahanthappa/Dresser/Hemingway) – The Beautiful Enabler (CF 114)
Drummer Gerry Hemingway and bassist Mark Dresser are progressive jazz pioneers via performances and recordings with legendary multi-reedman/composer Anthony Braxton. Ultimately, they’ve imprinted a colossal impression within improvisational circles as their solo albums and collaborations attest to their respective significance within the global, modern jazz realm. Here, young rising star and saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa provides a thrilling component to the overall schema that is engineered upon the trio’s cunning improvisation and dense fabrics of sound.
All parties enjoy ample soloing room, as they respectively alter and then dictate the variable flows and sub-plots. In effect, the trio’s buoyancy is marked by complex unison motifs amid a bobbing and weaving mode of attack. With Dresser’s bowed bass lines and multipurpose underpinnings, Maranthappa often develops linear thematic forays, firmed up by Hemingway’s acute manner of staying on top of the pulse. They expand, contract, and delve inward while occasionally drawing up notions of avant-garde chamber-like environs.
On the piece titled “The Beautiful Enabler,” they seemingly dodge bullets, largely due to Maranthappa’s intensifying and rippling choruses. Yet they descend the energized approach into a near whisper to consummate a program that is loaded with highs, lows, plateaus and rapid ascensions into the cosmos. It doesn’t get much better than this folks.