Cadence Magazine review by Jay Collins

Avram Fefer Trio – Ritual (CF 145)
Familiar to Cadence readers and subject of a host of releases on the Cadence family imprints, reedist Avram Fefer brings a new trio, featuring bassist Eric Revis and drummer Chad Taylor, along for “Ritual”, a vivacious date that further highlights Fefer’s clear-cut approach. To add a customary change of pace that one expects when spinning a Fefer disc, in addition to his tenor, Fefer’s alto, soprano, and bass clarinet all make an appearance on the program’s nine outings. For the most part, Fefer’s improvisations are at the core of his vital compositions, though there are also several freely improvised moments that allow for personal reflections. Fefer’s spiritual muse hits out of the gate on the rolling rhythms of “Testament” featuring his probing alto, with that horn also featured on the search of the elastic “Ritual” and the momentum of “Outspoken” that contains a fluid rhythm line that wouldn’t sound out of place with the loft records of the late ‘60s or early ‘70s. Free-blowing realms also entice the communicative group on the restless “Blinky Palermo,” another alto-based beauty. Those familiar with Fefer’s Shades Of The Muse CIMP release will be happy to hear Fefer’s marvelous “Shepp In Wolves Clothing” interpreted by this trio, with equal parts Shepp and Roland Kirk, a spirited swinger where the ten minute playing time goes by way too quickly. Other highpoints include the spiritual quest of “Feb. 13th,” the Afro-Cuban groove laid down by Taylor on the soprano feature, “Club Foot,” and the bass clarinet musings of “When The Spirit Moves You.” A typically engaging set from Fefer that makes the most of his rhythm partners who obviously relish Fefer’s frameworks and the opportunity to consider improvisational realms in pure harmony. ©Cadence Magazine 2010

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