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Paul Wertico Trio: Live In Warsaw

Poll-winning drummer Paul Wertico, part of the Pat Metheny Group since 1983, launches this album with a six-minute solo (“Toms for Talia”) that establishes his polyrhythmic artistry before he’s joined by bassist Eric Hochberg and guitarist John Moulder, two equally proficient fellow Chicagoans with notable performance credits. Recorded during a 1994 two-week tour of Germany and Poland, this eight-tune Warsaw concert features an array of inspired improvisations that range from hard-edged jazz-rock fusion to supple, melodic motifs underpinned with Wertico’s cymbals work. Wertico rhythms and shadings allow this band to communicate cohesively, yet he has the finesse to step aside and allow his colleagues space for some fine solos. Moulder (a Roman Catholic priest!) generates some fiery, hard-edged, blues-fused licks on “Time for the Blues,” while Hochberg shines on an arco solo on “Cowboys & Africans” and a sublime, unaccompanied pizzicato solo on the ethereal, “Little e.” All capable of diverse expressions, these three masters make first-class, modern music together.

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