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James Emery/Joe Lovano/Judi Silvano/Drew Gress: Fourth World

In late 2000, James Emery performed an informal concert with this group-Joe Lovano, saxes and percussion; Judi Silvano, wordless vocals, flute and gong; Drew Gress, bass-in Middletown, N.Y., and enjoyed it so much, he decided to record with it. The resulting Fourth World (Between the Lines BTL 020 / EFA 10190-2; 66:48) wavers between restless inspiration and indulgence. The recording opens on a promising note with “Bellflower,” a genial three-way between Gress, Emery and Lovano on tenor, and ends with a pair of equally pleasing tunes, “Hannah’s Song,” and “In a Secret Place.” Much in between catches participants reeling off long strings of notes with bent trajectories in a show of virtuosity-Emery’s preternaturally quick acoustic-guitar lines and Silvano’s upper-register control in particular-if also frequent aimlessness.

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