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Change of Time: Change of Time

On the self-titled release by Change of Time, pianist Russ Lossing, bassist John Hebert and reedist Adam Kolker explore the riches of Bela Bartok’s Mikrokosmos. Bartok wrote this sequence of 153 etudes as a teaching aid for his son, but, as the title implies, Mikrokosmos contains a little universe of nontraditional harmony, asymmetric rhythm and other building blocks of Bartok’s music. Yet even the more complex pieces in the Mikrokosmos are fairly simple, which means they can serve well as springboards for improvisation.

And there is some deft, beautiful improvisation on this record. Lossing’s lines rush and shift and sometimes run in place with both velocity and an engaging simplicity. Kolker picks up snatches of melody and approaches them from every angle he can find, quietly and at times almost furtively, sometimes simply “playing” the intake of air on his reed. Hebert plays ostinatos and spikes the harmonies and keeps everything in motion.

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