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Michael Musillami’s Dialect: Fragile Forms

The open-eared, elastic rhythm tandem of bassist Drew Gress and drummer Matt Wilson is perfectly suited to simultaneously ground and extrapolate on Musillami’s quirky, angular compositions. Add pianist-provocateur Peter Madsen to the heady mix as harmonic foil to Musillami’s inside/outside six-string work-part Jim Hall, part Dom Minasi-and you’ve got a remarkably vibrant quartet recording that challenges both players and listeners alike.

A protean player with a prolific output over the past six years, Musillami can swing assertively in legit postbop fashion, as on “Discreet Plucking,” but even within that fairly conventional rhythmic context his note choices are still unpredictable. Gress is a marvel on that adventurous centerpiece with his daring, deep-toned solo while the ever-ready Wilson swings discreetly underneath. Madsen contributes some provocative counterpoint to the proceedings that slowly builds to a whirlwind solo of Cecil-esque proportions.

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