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Album Review

Even if the music on this set were boring, it would be difficult to dislike any record that had the songtitle of the year, "Green Dolphy Suite." As it turns out, there is nothing dull about this collaboration between the "Trio de Clarinettes" (which is comprised of Louis Sclavis and Jacques Di Donato doubling on clarinets and bass clarinets and Armand Angster who also triples on contrabass clarinet) and the "Arcado String Trio" (violinist Mark Feldman, cellist Ernst Reijseger and bassist Mark Dresser). The two groups had teamed up on an occasional basis during the two years prior to this recording and the musicians were obviously well rehearsed yet their music is full of spontaneous surprises. Each of the six masterful players contributed an original apiece and, although unpredictable and generally avant-garde, the music often utilizes melodic development, rhythms and lengthy arranged passages. In fact it is sometimes difficult to tell where the written sections end and the improvisations begin. The string playing in particular is often quite miraculous yet, even in its freer moments, the results are coherent and logical. In general the writing makes the unit sound somewhat like a 20th-century classical ensemble while the improvising is of a high nature. All of the musicians have some solo space but it is the unusual sound of the ensembles that makes this a recommended set for open-eared listeners.

Green Dolphy Suite, Arcado String Trio
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