All About Jazz - ocena * * * * 1/2:
Given Tyshawn Sorey's propensity for shattering the boundaries between jazz, free improvisation and classical music, it's noteworthy that he decided to stick with just his regular trio for his latest release, Verisimilitude. His previous record, last year's Inner Spectrum of Variables (Pi), drew heavily from the streams of classical and new music, with the additional presence of a string trio essential in giving that music a chamber-like feel, albeit with a good deal of open- ended improvisational space and even an occasional groove. Despite the pared-down personnel of Verisimilitude, however, this album represents an even greater leap away from the constraints of idiom and tradition that had already become rather tenuous on Inner Spectrum. This is a more abstract, more imposing release, even harder to categorize. And for Sorey, a percussionist whose whole career has involved upending expectations of what a "jazz drummer" can or should do—and, by extension, how a "piano trio" can or should sound—that is truly saying something.
With titles like "Cascade in Slow Motion," "Obsidian" and "Algid November," it's clear that Sorey is hinting at natural, elemental forces in these compositions, with an impression of unyielding immensity even in those stretches of the music where openness and space reside. Aside from the relatively brief "Cascade," the pieces are sprawling and expansive: the longest, "Obsidian" and "Algid November," clock in at over 18 minutes and 30 minutes, respectively, and they unfold gradually, through gestures both minute and grandiose. As Sorey has frequently sought to blur the lines between the composed and improvised sections of his pieces, it's very difficult to locate those demarcations here. When the musicians perform these pieces live, they will sometimes play them backwards (!), or in modified form based on spontaneous instructions from Sorey—so in the end, it's an open q.......