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John Lindberg: Resurrection of a Dormant Soul

Though logistics probably rule out their coming together on more than an annual basis-Lindberg is a U.S. resident, the rest are spread across Europe and Scandanavia-this assemblage of the bassist-leader, pianist Eric Watson, and trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff and drummer Ed Thigpen, certainly feels like a band. This being their third outing together they have developed an admirable simpatico and complement each other with obvious relish and enjoyment. They have established a real dialogue that is rare in musicians with such disparate backgrounds. And though Lindberg is the listed leader, this really feels like a working co-op.

On his “Quartet Pluckin’,” the bassist’s alternately plucked/bow slapped bass working with Thigpen’s rim and drum shell stick work creates a percussive effect brimming with tension, providing a lively pathway to Mangelsdorff and Watson’s conversation. On his “Dots, Ditches, and Scratches,” Mangelsdorff’s multiphonic intro blossoms into a swinger propelled by Thigpen’s brush work, an area where he has few if any peers. “E.T.P.” is a bop-ish Thigpen line that finds Watson spinning out some fine Monk-ery and from there it’s outward bound via the ‘bone & bass duet that introduces Lindberg’s “Birds Of A Feather.”

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