Jeff Cosgrove / John Medeski / Jeff Lederer
History Gets Ahead Of The Story
The bass player William Parker has been a towering presence on the improvising side of modern jazz – here he is celebrated as composer by drummer Jeff Cosgrove, leading a bass-less trio (John Medeski on organ, Jeff Lederer flue and saxophones) to drive home the impact of Parker the writer, rather than Parker the player. Cosgrove has experience working directly with William Parker and has drawn on that to pick some of his very best pieces to re-arrange for this sprightly trio.
Opener, O’Neal’s Porch has some of the sound and feel of classic Charlie Hunter Trio recordings from the early/mid-90s all lithe bounce and café-cool, whereas Corn Meal Dance is a slippery, sensual slow-winder as brushes on the snare whisper a groove which the organ spreads itself across like a picnic blanket.
Gospel Flowers is like a slowed bop, all soulful and mourning – the organ really taking the lead here, and on Little Bird Lederer channels Eric Dolphy on flute, offering dizzying runs as the drums pile and tumble all about the tune.
It all gets beautifully messy on Things Fall Apart as the three instruments appear to be working against one another, albeit still moving in the same direction.
Wood Flute Song is pure 60s jazz and even on the couple of non-Parker songs – written to evoke his spirit and with the knowledge of a one-time close compatriot (Ghost and Purcell’s Lament) – we get a gorgeous warmth from this trio.
This is expert playing – but as with Parker’s best moments, the pure talent is obvious yet it never gets in the way of the clarity of the song. These are stunning compositions expertly delivered.
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