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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Mark Helias' Open Loose - Strange Unison (Radio Legs, 2008)****

Mark Helias' Open Loose trio consists of himself on bass, Tom Rainey on drums and Tony Malaby on sax. And yes, what more can you ask for in jazz-land? All three musicians have an extraordinary track record and resume, and are hence much in demand, with Helias and Rainey figuring easily on more than 100 CDs, and Malaby on more than 50. And they are not just mere creative instrumentalists who fit in any musical environment, their level of artistry is high too, as was already demonstrated on the previous albums of the trio. "Strange Unison", falls perfectly within the line of expectations. This means that the musical quality is high throughout, with nice compositions, a great rhythmic drive and great soloing, free and unbound, yet all within the range of what can be called "accessible", full of emotional power and creative interplay. It also means that a little bit of the risk and the adventure are gone, but what the heck, who cares?

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Blue Light Down The Line