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December 1997

Renee Rosnes
As We Are Now
EMI Distribution

Canadian pianist Rosnes occasionally recalls Lennie Tristano, although she plays in a less complex, more fluid manner. Her sense of linear development is finely tuned, and she has a vigorous sense of rhythm. In fact, energetic playing characterizes most of this date with tenor and soprano saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Jack DeJohnette. The album reinforces the belief that Rosnes, Potter and McBride are at or near the top of the New Star talent pool today.

A tune such as Rosnes' bright "Mizmahta" inspires a tough, powerful solo from its composer; the title tune brings out her more impressionistic side. "Abstraction of Blue," a piece she wrote for Georgia O'Keeffe, is notable for her rhapsodic two-handed playing. "Bulldog's Chicken Run," another Rosnes original, gives everyone a chance to solo, with Potter at his twisting, Lovano-esque best, McBride warm and percussive and DeJohnette dancing and thrashing joyously. There's considerable emotional involvement in these and the other performances, an investment you'll probably dig along with the chops and freshness.

Originally published in December 1997
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