By Paul Acquaro
Argentinian drummer Damian Allegretti, has put together an excellent album with free jazz stalwarts Erik Friedlander (cello) and Tony Malaby (sax). Recorded in New York, Stoddard Place pairs the delicate drumming of Allegretti with empathic and inventive playing from the cello and sax.
The group begins with the upbeat 'VI'. Malaby and Friedlander spar playfully over Allegretti's sensitive drumming. A repetitive vamp make up the core of this engaging track, and it builds from a delicate solo cello introduction into a vehicle for the group to dig into. Another highlight is the track 'Namaste', a lovely ballad that swells organically and features a slowly unfolding melody. The album also offers duo configurations, sax/drum, sax/cello and cello/drum improvisations that splitting up the more composed pieces and offering some other exciting musical ideas.
Stoddard Place is a thoughtful and earnest album, in which the delicate frameworks of the songs really showcase the imagination of the musicians. The trio connects well and it's a real treat to hear Malaby and Friedlander together. Allegretti's playing is always extremely supportive, never overpowering or obtrusive. Recommended listening!
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