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Andy Sheppard/Michael Benita/Sebastian Rochford: Trio Libero

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Freedom, in the context of jazz, can often mean anarchy, a complete break from structure and restraint. But for the trio of saxophonist Andy Sheppard, bassist Michael Benita and drummer Sebastian Rochford, freedom-which recurs, in various Italian forms, in the track listing-apparently suggests not chaos but release, a feeling of blissful transcendence.

Throughout their ECM debut, the threesome conjures a delicate, almost fragile sound, one that threatens to dissipate at the slightest disturbance. Though nearly half of the album’s 13 tracks are credited to all three, there is nonetheless a sense of restrained craftsmanship in the construction of each piece. None bear the traces of assertive escalation often born of free improvisation; instead, the music seems the result of each member painstakingly adding the most minimal of touches to the whole.

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