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Rapid Croche
With each instrument equally prominent within these eight compositions, this trio from Chicago's emerging generation of new jazz pioneers has made a clear statement revealing their investment in the musical richness to be found in complementarity, rather than confrontation. This probably owes as much to each player's improvisational style as it does to Roebke's compositions, while both the balanced quality of the recording and the fluid nature of these compositions adeptly place the group's collective strength in relief. Roebke's big, never hidden, always chugging, acouistic bass accentuates and centers Daisy's drums ans Shelton's alto sax or clarinet. Daisy's drums guide by subdued eruption, propelling the ensemble with cymbal smears or mallet rumbles as the occasion demands. This trio isn't raucous, but the plaintive and sweet closing track, "Northern Cross," is so warming that you know fires are burning inside.

Sharp left or right turns, odd rhythms punctuated pointillistically by a band in full tilt—in other words, a slight Braxtonian edge—appears in the definitively notated sections of several compositions. Everything is clearly under control, and sounds fastidiously pleasant, yet there seems to be a seething underneath, a desire to detonate, to play beyond the comfort zone of their established capabilities. That they don't is a testament to well-considered restraint, and possibly to timidity; from what I can hear they've all got the chops and they've found telepathically like-minded musicians and a solid group dynamic—they can afford to be bolder. Rapid Croche unveils this trio's potential with plenty of juicy grooves and mellow struts, but from now on we should expect ripe-to-bursting fruit, fingers stained all around. If they let loose, they might make more mistakes, but they're likely to rapidly discover something more thrilling than a nice record—a great record, some soul-scraping music.

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