After a free jazz investment for many years, now something entirely different. Avant-garde? Composer / improviser Rob Brown says it’s an irrelevant categorization nowadays. Instead of the conventional sax-bass-drums combo of the New Thing, “Sounds” gives us an alternative combination of alto saxophone with a cello (Daniel Levin) and Japanese taiko percussion set (Satoshi Takeishi), for a quieter, more open, exotic and abstract music performance than the ones usually labelled as jazz. Abstract, we said? Not always: “Tibetan Folk Song” is what the title says, “Moment of Pause” is a ballad, and the three-part suite “Sounds” was conceived for a Nancy Zendora choreography, and you know how dance need time references to construct in space. And you still have “Stutter Step”, a reminder of the free jazz convictions of Mr. Brown, a long-time partner of musicians like William Parker, Matthew Shipp, Joe Morris and Whit Dickey. So, here is one of those situations in which you have a trio of liberated jazz musicians playing their own music. Is it avant-garde? Is it abstract? Does these words matter anymore?