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Indigo Mist: That the Days Go By and Never Come Again

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Indigo Mist is the partnership of Cuong Vu, the trumpeter who came up in the Pat Metheny Group and has forged an identity with an ethereal rock-leaning sound, and Richard Karpen, a classically trained pianist and computer-music academic. The two met at the University of Washington, where both teach. Their electro-acoustic project nominally pays tribute to Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, but that homage is indiscernible except in a few spots where snatches of familiar melody surface-a few notes from “Mood Indigo,” a snippet of “A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing.”

The record gets rolling-and “rolling” is the right word-with “L’Heure Bleue,” a five-minute drum solo in which Ted Poor conjures a storm that rumbles and quakes, augmented by looped passages created by iPad performers. That segues to “Indigo Mist,” whereupon we begin to hear from Vu, breathing and crackling, anti-melodically, through his electronically enhanced trumpet until it resembles an emergency siren; Karpen, who pounds the lower third like an angry Cecil Taylor; and bassist Luke Berman, who plucks minimally but with great force. Indeed, throughout the album, piano and bass are as much percussive instruments as the drum kit.

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