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Andrew Sterman: Wet Paint

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The spiritual serenity we’ve come to expect from Andrew Sterman is pervasive here. However, also as we’d expect, the music is mostly devoid of self-indulgence or ethereal formlessness. Questing, rather than wafting, is the dominant motif.

“Open Circle” sets the tone: Apropos of the title, Sterman’s solo describes circles that link to one another, each never quite resolving but concluding with the suggestion of further possibilities in the next iteration. Mick Rossi’s piano solo, in contrast, is all shards and segments, pushing forward with off-time punctuations and the judicious insertion of brief silences. Richie Vitale’s flugelhorn sounds subdued, almost muffled, but within that velvet casing there’s fire: He unfurls crisp flurries, logical yet free-flowing and emotionally intense. Bassist Kermit Driscoll and drummer Tim Horner are fully participating ensemble and improvisational voices, lending texture and depth.

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