...the sound of the session is a definite connection to the work of Eric Dolphy and Andrew Hill with spiky melodies and open blowing sections that give the soloists blowing space, yet are integrally connected to the theme. The opener, "Good Looking Android," and "Little Screw" both employ shifting metric layers. The ballad "Valerie" is an ensemble piece that moves at a pace just quicker than stasis. After the sad little theme is introduced by clarinet, bass, and brushed drums, it edges along, developed by the smallest instrumental gestures, whispering to the end. The ominous lament "Nearby" takes a similar tack, yet the effect - with its blending to tenuous horns - is different. Elsewhere Adasiewicz opens up the tunes for solos, but even here the improvisations always fit within the overarching form; brilliantly so Shelton's clarinet spot on "Creep." He's dazzling again (this time on alto sax) on "Little Screw," which opens up in the middle. The leader, in typically well-measured form, and cornetist Berman, adding expressionistic yaps and smears, contribute fine solos as well that wind the tune to a lightly swinging conclusion. Berman stays in the background much of the session, contributing low-key brassy substance to the ensembles. The session itself ends on a down note with another extended ballad that features more understated vibes work from the leader. It's a fitting ending for a recital that favors nuance and subtlety.
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