Slovenian-born drummer Dre Hocevar, 26 years of age at the time of the current recording, has sat at the feet of the masters, Michael Carvin, Ralph Peterson, and Marcus Gilmore as well as Reggie Workman, Hal Galper, Joe Morris and Steve Lehman. He has absorbed some of their spirit and gives us more than a little something of himself on this album of the Dre Hocevar Trio, Coding of Evidentiality (Clean Feed 325).
It is not at all typical as a “drummer’s album,” but maybe that is true much of the time these days. In this case it is very much a group effort, with trio mates pianist Bram de Looze and cellist Lester St. Louis forming with Dre an interlocking wholeness, aided for one cut by the electronics of Sam Pluta.
It is music firmly in the realm of new music/”free jazz” sonics, with some compositional frameworks as jumping off points apparently, though it all comes across as spontaneous as it definitely is.
What we get on this program is an intricate series of improvisations in three-way dialog (or four) that show very much a fluid sense of line and texture, a virtuosity of intent and a mastery of “free” vocabulary. It all gels in seven very focused pieces.
It is exemplary trio ensemble work today. There is an ease of expression and a fundamental sense of gesture and suchness (if you will pardon the term) that sets this trio apart from just good avant. They seem to project a clarity of purpose as you listen, and once you hear it all several times that clarity remains and becomes something you can almost physically grasp.
And so maybe that’s enough to say for now. If you dig the piano trio in an advanced modern realm this is an excellent example of what it can be today.
Listen to this! And not once. . . a few times. Then see what you think. Very recommended.