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Burton Greene Trio: Throptics

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On Throptics ESP Disk alumnus Greene stretches into the tongue-in-cheek: his craggy performance of “Mississippi Clarence” has two-fisted humor. “Tilo Akandita Brikama” is for Johnny Dyani; and “Lennie Lives,” for Tristano, is a thunderous success. Grassi gives outstanding performances, his percussive conversations shifting between Morris and Greene, and also delivering smart, well-articulated collectivisms (“trialogues”?). When it’s just him and Morris, as near the close of “That’s What I Mean,” you appreciate his sensitive dynamics and his keen awareness of when to turn up the steam. Morris actually anchors this set, not that any of this music would fly out of control without him, but his great judgment for direction and his disciplined craft lift this above similarly styled sessions. In fact, the bassists on all these recordings perform with stimulating balance and imagination.