Following the invocation Vision Festival fixture, drummer Whit Dickey, initiated proceedings in a unfettered threesome with bassist Michael Bisio and reed master Sabir Mateen under the moniker Blood Trio. Their set was one of incrementally building intensity. But even as the temperature increased, Dickey kept it reined in, marking holding patterns on his cymbals. Mateen started predominantly in the middle registers, making an unceasing flow of ideas seem both new and easy. On bass Bisio, who now partners with the drummer in Matthew Shipp's new trio, resorted to manic flailing, holding his bass horizontally like an oversize guitar, while the reedman belayed a coursing stream of molten notes. There was talent on display wherever one looked.
A second piece started with Bisio bowing hard, his legs planted akimbo. As he sawed, the bow hit the body of the bass, adding to the physicality of the display. His wavering creaks and undulations proved a wonderful introduction from which a spidery melody briefly emerged to attract a sanctified tenor saxophone and rumbling drums. Again there was tension as the saxophonist embarked on a stratospheric journey against a still-restrained backdrop of Bisio's reiterated high bowing and Dickey's intricate rhythmic latticework. Slowly increasing in heft after Mateen hit his climax, the drummer continued in a powerfully focused exposition in which he concentrated more on snare and toms, in contrast to the approach in his ensemble work. He broke out from his solo at a cracking tempo picked up by Bisio's throbbing walking rhythm, and provoked the horn man to another outpouring of silk and steel, astonishing in its facility, into which he interpolated a series of quivering yelps and stentorian vibrato bellows.
It wasn't all thunder and lightning. Mateen switched to clarinet to play over a low key, repeated motif from Bisio and subtle cymbal shadings added by Dicke....... więcej