Innovative vibist Matthias Lupri issues an implied challenge with his latest album, Transition Sonic (Summit): to listen intelligently and repeatedly. His compositional style is so carefully woven that themes recur like old friends in different clothes. He has even written a brief "Sonic Prelude"-somewhat in the style of an opera overture that contains arias to be heard later. In fact, the prelude segues into "Sonic" without a break.
Elsewhere there are many melodic and harmonic segues that bridge the breaks. The final chord of "Middle Zone" foreshadows the first in "The Day After," and "Deception" ends on a high-pitched D-minor chord, from where "Iceland Dark" begins a slow exploration of the same chord. "Iceland Dark" ends with a mysterious six-note motif in alternating 7/4 and 6/4, which opens "Chime Trance." And on it goes. In other words, Lupri has fashioned a 12-part suite of stunning beauty filled with atmospheric writing and virtuosic playing from a front line that in addition to the leader includes tenor/soprano saxophonist Mark Turner and trumpeter Cuong Vu, who are relentlessly exhorted by guitarist Nate Radley, bassist Thomson Kneeland and drummer Jordan Perlson.