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Roscoe Mitchell Trio: The Day and the Night

Dizim is a new German label that just out of the box appears to be specializing in trio recordings. In this instance Roscoe Mitchell partners with Malachi Favors on bass and Gerald Cleaver on drums and percussion. Curiously for a studio recording (Southport in Chicago), the drums are muddy and there is little sonic separation of the three instruments. This is a decided drawback, particularly knowing that Cleaver is such a rangy drummer. In fact, when things turn particularly quiet, as on a portion of a tribute track for Lester Bowie, one has to strain somewhat to know the drummer is even there.

There is a thoughtful, contemplative sense of quietude which marks a good portion of this disc and the dialogue between the trio is palpable. There is also a tribute to Atala (Is that Atala Shabazz? Here’s another instance where the lack of notes is a record label conceit). Roscoe’s tone on the tenor is quite remarkable. Throughout the disc he elicits a very deep, dark sound that reaches down to near baritone timbre.

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