Touching Extremes review by Massimo Ricci

ADAM LANE / LOU GRASSI / MARK WHITECAGE – Drunk butterfly (CF 116)
These musicians are unmuzzled dogs who refuse biting despite the repeated chances they’re given to. That means that there’s mental discipline at work here, in spite of the fact that absolute freedom is at the basis of many sections. It all translates into gratifying jazz, a record that you’ll be able to play three or four consecutive times without feeling the urge of spinning Ted Nugent after ten minutes. Listening to Lane’s arco in “Chichi rides the tiger” could have someone believing that the bassist is painting and playing at one and the same time, wailing harmonics and fleshy plucking defining the innumerable influences – life events included, probably – that define a distinctive style. The gratification generated by the brilliant excursions for alto sax and clarinet Whitecage gifts us with goes in parallel with a never ending quest for offering accurate finesse even in spots where one would expect rough manners; the guy is a class act, and it shows. Grassi’s drumming is as rambunctious as highbred, sustaining the interplay with tasteful morsels of cocksure swing and scattered rolls in an ideal setting for the diversification of a trio’s intentions. Speaking of which, I was wondering if “Sanctum” is a variation on the theme of Frank Zappa’s “King Kong”: the initial notes are matching – in a different metre – and the tune’s key too.

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