Lebroba album cover

Bill Frisell , Wadada Leo Smith , Andrew Cyrille

ECM Records

This astonishing trio encounter states its core principles up front. The opening track, “Worried Woman,” is a kind of ambient blues, Bill Frisell’s guitar biting delicately into the air as Wadada Leo Smith’s piercing, heartfelt trumpet spins variations on the simple theme and Andrew Cyrille, the nominal leader, supports the other two as only he can. His drumming is often called minimal, but what it really is is precise: even during his years with Cecil Taylor, there was never a wasted gesture. He added exactly what the music needed, and nothing more. He does the same here, tapping the snare insistently and punctuating with gentle cymbal strikes, occasionally bouncing across the toms. There’s barely any sense of time passing, never mind time-keeping; the blues are eternal, an ever-flowing river that these three men dip into for 40 minutes or so, then keep walking.

Phil Freeman

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