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Out Twice
David Adler
The title of this CD refers to two recording sessions by two different trios in two different locales.  Michel Lambert, the peripatetic drummer, went first to Los Angeles and recorded five tracks with pianist Milcho Leviev and bassist John Gianelli.  Soon after he journeyed to southern France and documented six more with bassist Barre Phillips and saxophonist Lionel Garcin.  Out Twice represents all 11 pieces non-sequentially; as a result, the two trios seem to dialogue with one another across time and space.

Lambert composed each piece on an original drawing and often a loose, minimal set of instructions. The piano pieces are more grounded harmonically and more accessible rhythmically, but generally somber in mood; the saxophone pieces tend to be sound-oriented, grittier, and more abstract.  A good example of the latter is "No no no note," which demands of the players that they not play a single identifiable pitch.  Leviev's instrument, in contrast, lends the Los Angeles trio an expressive array of harmonic colors, from the swinging abandon of "Aire de Repos" to the dark clusters of "Ice on the River."

But it falls to the saxophone trio to interpret the two most visually-striking drawings.  "Cul de Sac" takes its inspiration from London's traffic roundabouts; "Vitrail pour Herbie," based on a stained-glass window of Lambert's design, is a loving tribute to the late trumpeter Herbie Spanier.

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